Ashutosh Tiwari, Bastar: The Forest Department team has arrested 3 smugglers who smuggled pangolins included in the list of protected wildlife animals of the Government of India. At the same time, 13 accused smugglers are absconding, whose search is on.
In fact, the information about the smuggling of an extinct species of pangolin in the Kolaval area of Bastar district of Chhattisgarh bordering the Orissa border was received by the Forest Department from the informer, after which the Forest Department formed 2 teams and sent them for action. The team caught the smugglers after 9 hours of hard work. In this action, the team has arrested 3 smugglers. Along with this, other 13 accused smugglers managed to escape from the spot, whose search is on.
According to the information, the weight of the surviving pangolin found from the possession of smugglers is 17 kg. The accused told during interrogation that all had made a deal for the estimated price of pangolin at Rs 10 lakh 54 thousand. Indian pangolin, an extinct species, is in great demand in the international market. This is the reason why smugglers continuously carry out smuggling of pangolin in the Orissa-Chhattisgarh border and in these areas, the forest department has been successful in seizing the pangolin from the smugglers and releasing them in safe places.
Forest Divisional Officer Keshav Sahu said that the Indian Pangolin is listed as critically endangered in the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature while the Chinese Pangolin is listed as critically endangered. Both these species are listed under Schedule I of Part I of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972. In view of their declining population, the Government of India has kept them in the category of extinct species. But in the greed of more money, the villagers catch it from the forests and sell it in another state.