WARANGAL: The Warangal (Urban) Forest Department officials, on Sunday, raided several shops in the city limits that were allegedly selling star tortoises and soft-shell turtles. The raids were carried out by two teams as per the instructions of Chief Conservator of Forest (CCF), Warangal. While the first team, headed by Warangal DFO and comprising staffers of the department, raided the four shops in Hanamkonda and seized three soft-shell turtles, the second team, headed by the FDO and comprising members of the flying squad party, raided four other shops in Warangal and seized one star tortoise.
Pointing out that soft-shell turtles are schedule – I ( part II) species and star tortoises are schedule IV species 1972, the officials stated that the sale and purchase of such reptiles are punishable offences.
Speaking to Express, Warangal (Urban) DFO S Aparna said that cases have been registered against the owners of these shops. “They were arrested and produced before the judicial magistrate. Those who were held for selling soft-shell turtles have been remanded to judicial custody for 14 days,” she added.