India: Baikunthapur forest division on Sunday arrested Sikkim resident Rabi Subba for allegedly smuggling leopard skin from Sikkim to Siliguri.
Subba was arrested from Sahid Nagar near Champasari area along with 5.5’ length leopard skin. Subba is said to be a resident of Singtam of East Sikkim.
Sanjay Dutta, range officer of Belakoba forest range, Jalpaiguri said, “We received specific information that a group of people were entering Siliguri with a leopard skin. On the basis of information our patrolling team along with officials caught Rabi Subba of Singtam, East Sikkim. The leopard was killed after firing at its head and the skin was being brought from Sikkim towards Siliguri for selling purpose. There were other four to five people who managed to flee but we received their names and keeping track to arrest soon.”
Dutta who leaded the team to nab the poachers posed as a truck driver. He informed that it is an international gang involved in smuggling animal skin and other parts to Bhutan, Nepal and Bangladesh. They stay in Siliguri on the rental houses to run the illegal business.
He also informed that the operation was conducted under the instruction of Additional PCCF M R Baluch. The female calf leopard was said to be killed but the arrested accused Rabi Subba informed forest officials that they found it dead in the jungle.
However they could not inform the exact location or jungle where the leopard was found. Dutta said, “We are finding out the jungle where it was killed after interrogation of the arrested people and other sources.”
(Source: The Echo of India)