Bhawanipatna: A team of Odisha Crime Branch’s Special Task Force (STF) personnel seized at least three leopard and three deer hides yesterday night following a raid at Sripali Chhaka on M Rampur-Narla road of SH-6A under M Rampur police limits in Kalahandi.
The STF team has arrested an illegal animal body part trader in this connection.
Acting on a tip-off that the smuggler was in possession of the six seized hides and negotiating with a party to dispose of those, the team raided leading to the arrest and seizure.
The arrested was identified as 56-year-old Khageswar Putel, son of late Purun Putel from Pujiladu Village of Gunangbeda under M Rampur tehsil in the district.
During through search, some incriminating instruments were recovered from Khageswar’s possession. He could not produce any valid document in support of possessing the animal body parts for which he was arrested and will be forwarded today to the Court of JMFC in M Rampur.
An STF PS case (No-14, dated-22.07.2023 U/s 379/411/120(B) of the IPC r/w Section 51 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 has been registered against Khageswar.
The skins will be sent to the Director of Wildlife Institute of India (WII) in Dehradun for biological examination. A detailed probe into the case is still underway, a senior STF official informed.