141 turtles rescued from train, man held
13 April 2018

India: A man in his mid-twenties was arrested with 141 river terrapin turtles from Doon Express when the train stopped at Dhanbad junction on Thursday afternoon.

Bishwa Biswas, a native of Bandel in Bengal, was taking the critically endangered turtles home from Jaunpur in Uttar Pradesh.

RPF officer-in-charge S.K. Pandey said after the train arrived in Dhanbad at 1pm, they received information that four gunny bags stowed below a berth in coach S9 were moving.

"A search revealed the sacks contained turtles. The man said he was taking them to Bandel. Asked how many consignments he had smuggled so far, he claimed this was his first time," the officer said, adding that Biswas was arrested and forwarded to jail.

DFO Saurabh Chandra said the river terrapin was a critically endangered species and Biswas was charged under Sections 9 and 50 of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, which prohibit hunting of Schedule I, II, III and IV animals.

If proven guilty under these sections, Biswas can be sent to prison for a maximum of seven years.

"We will keep all the rescued turtles near a water body in the forest colony of Dhanbad. After a short rehab period, they will be released into a river," he added.

(Source: The Telegraph)