Cuttack: The special task force (STF) of Odisha Crime Branch rescued a live pangolin with the arrest of a wildlife criminal near Abhimanpur village in Cuttack district on Friday.
Reportedly, the STF team had conducted a raid near the village on the basis of reliable information about a deal of sale of live pangolin. As a result, one accused person namely Keshab Sahoo of Abhimanpur was apprehended.
One live pangolin and other incriminating materials were seized from his possession. As Sahoo could not produce any valid authority in support of the possession of such live pangolin, he was arrested.
A case in this connection was registered by the STF under Section 379/411/120(B) of Indian Penal Code (IPC) read with Section 51 of Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972. The seized live pangolin will be handed over to DFO cum Wildlife Warden, Athagarh
for safe custody.
The Indian pangolin (Manis crassicaudata), also called thick-tailed pangolin, scaly anteater and bajrakapta ‘ବଜ୍ରକାପ୍ତା’ in Odia is a solitary, shy, slow-moving, nocturnal mammal. It is a schedule I protected animal under Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972. Schedule I provides absolute protection – offences under these are prescribed for the highest penalties.
During the last one year, special drive against wildlife criminals/poachers have been launched, STF has seized as many as 12 Leopard skins, 06 Elephant Tusks, 02 deer skins, 03 live pangolins and 05 kg pangolin scales and arrested 25 wildlife criminals. A total 14 cases have been registered against wildlife criminals.
STF is the specialized wing of Odisha Police to curb the organized crime in the State. Wildlife crimes remain one of the focus areas of STF and it will continue its drive against the wildlife crime and criminals.