GUWAHATI, Aug 17: The Assam Police’s special task force (STF) has made a significant breakthrough by apprehending a woman and her son from West Karbi Anglong district for their alleged involvement in the illegal trade of tiger skin and bones.
Acting on a tip-off, the STF collaborated with the Karbi Anglong district police and the Wildlife Crime Control Board (WCCB) to successfully arrest the duo on Wednesday, as confirmed by police sources.
The arrested individuals were purportedly operating as intermediaries, facilitating the transportation of contraband tiger skins and bones to neighboring states. Subsequently, these illicit items were smuggled out of the country, with neighboring countries, including China, Bangladesh, and various South East Asian nations, being the final destinations of the illegal trade.
An STF additional superintendent of police, Kalyan Pathak, emphasised that an elaborate network exploiting the northeastern region as a transit route for such animal parts trade has been identified. The contraband items are moved through the region to reach international destinations, ultimately threatening the wildlife and contributing to environmental degradation.
In a parallel incident, the police had earlier apprehended four individuals in possession of tiger skin and bones from the Azara area in Kamrup district on June 29 this year. This case showcased inter-state implications, as the animal was poached in Gadchiroli, Maharashtra, and the illegally obtained skin and bones were intended for transportation to Meghalaya before being further distributed.
The case has been transferred to the WCCB, and a comprehensive case has been registered under various sections of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. The authorities are actively pursuing actions to curtail such illegal activities that pose a grave threat to both wildlife conservation and regional security. (With inputs from PTI)