Nature and the Environment
in the News

Source: Times of India
Date: February 23, 2009

One arrested with tortoise skins worth lakhs
23 Feb 2009, 2037 hrs IST, TNN

LUCKNOW: A drive `Operation Chakravyuh' started to check mysterious elements on bus stands and railway stations yielded results as one person was nabbed here on Sunday along with skins of over hundred tortoises that were being smuggled. The arrested man identified himself as Nanhu of Babu Khera village in Mohanlalaganj police circle. Nanhu was nabbed near the bus stand in Wazirganj police circle. A total of 109 skins of the tortoises were recovered from the man.

During interrogation it came to light that the accused along with a fisherman of Barabanki used to hunt for these tortoises and after killing them used to sell the skins in Durgapur area of Kolkata to businessmen at cheap rates. The traders in Kolkata either used it themselves or sold these skins at sky high prices to some businessmen in China.

The fisherman who was an accomplice of Nanhu was identified as Subhash Naag. According to circle officer (CO) Chowk, Vinay Chandra, although the exact amount of the skins recovered cannot be assessed but it is in lakhs in the international market.

Nanhu told them that the tortoises they killed were mostly caught from the Ghagra river. A case in the connection was lodged under section 2/9/39/48A/51 of Wild Life Protection Act. Police were now hunting for Subhash and two other people whose names have come to light during interrogation.

Talking to TOI on the issue, divisional forest officer, Ashok Mishra said that police have informed the forest officials about the man arrested but as of now the forest officials would not be intervening in the matter but will assist the police if they require any help.