Kolkata: A Trinamool Congress leader in West Bengal’s Alipurduar district has been arrested by sleuths of the state’s forest department while attempting to smuggle a pangolin.
The arrested person was identified as James Borogaon (53), who is the deputy chief of the Khoyardanga-2 village panchayat.
A pangolin was also recovered from his possession.
In India, pangolins are protected under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972. And at the same time hunting, trade or any other form of utilisation of the species or their body parts and derivatives is banned.
According to deputy field director of the local Buxa Tiger Reserve, Parveen Kaswan, the arrested person had plans to smuggle that pangolin.
“Our official trapped him posing as prospective buyers. Investigation is on to track the other involved in the racket,” he added.
Meanwhile, state forest department sources said that their sleuths were tipped off that an attempt was on to smuggle a pangolin.
“Accordingly, our sleuths contacted the person posing as prospective buyers. Finally, he was caught red- handed along with that endangered species of animal near the Nimati forest range. Later we came to know that he is the deputy chief of a local village panchayat,” a department official said.
Meanwhile, the local BJP legislator from Kumargram Assembly constituency in Alipurduar and the chief whip of the party in West Bengal assembly, Manoj Oraon said from the event it is evident that corruption is the policy of the Trinamool Congress.
“They loot everything. Even the animals are not safe,” he said.
The ruling party is yet to make a comment on the development.