GUWAHATI: The Assam police on Saturday arrested two persons from Arunachal Pradesh and seized a huge consignment of animal parts from their possession.
The duo, Tabang Paro (47) and Taber Siram (38) of Arunachal’s Siang district, was later produced in a court which sent them to three days’ police custody.
The seized items included 43 deer heads with antler, two skins and as many heads of clouded leopard, one bear head and one skin of the animal, 800 grams of bones of different types, one hornbill beak, one wild goat head with antler and four otter skins.
The police seized the animal parts in northern Assam’s Dhemaji district bordering Arunachal after intercepting the car the accused were travelling in. They were booked under various Sections of the Wildlife Protection Act.
During interrogation, Taber Siram claimed that he was accompanying the other accused to Paro after missing a bus to the Arunachal capital of Itanagar. The police suspected their involvement in the illicit trade.
Divisional forest officer, Prashant Dhanda, told the New Indian Express that the accused were arrested based on intelligence inputs. “Inputs were received from an informer of Wildlife Crime Control Bureau, which later alerted the police and the forest department. The accused were pushed to come to this side from Arunachal and arrested,” he said.
Dhanda, confirming that the animals were from Arunachal, said that the seizure of the parts of clouded leopard, which is a Schedule-1 species, was a matter of concern. In regards to the deer and bear parts, forensic tests would reveal the kind of species, the forest officer said.
“This is the first such seizure in Dhemaji. If there is a racket, it will come to the fore during the investigation. We have started getting leads and we are optimistic about getting more. For now, the police are handling the case. However, if need be, they may hand the accused over to us,” he added.