Srinagar: Four leopard skins were seized from Srinagar and the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) apprehended eight persons including one serving police constable in this connection today. Initial investigation suggested that the leopards were poached from Ladakh, Doda and Uri.
Offering details, the DRI said that after it developed specific intelligence over a period of time that a few gangs in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) are involved in the illegal wildlife trade and, were searching for prospective buyers for the sale of leopard skins. Accordingly, a detailed plan was made to apprehend the members of the gangs.
Posing as buyers, DRI officers of the Mumbai Zonal Unit (Goa Regional Unit) reached Srinagar and after several rounds of negotiations, the sellers brought the first skin of a leopard to a pre-designated place in Srinagar near Dal gate. Officers on surveillance intercepted a person who was carrying a leopard skin near the designated place. On the basis of his information, another accomplice was also intercepted at a public place in Srinagar.
After securing the first catch, the rounds of intense negotiations continued with another gang of sellers. After overnight negotiations, the sellers finally agreed to bring 3 leopard skins to a pre-designated location. 3 people carrying the contraband (3 leopard skins) were intercepted. The leads generated by information gathered from them indicated that 3 more persons connected to the transaction were waiting nearby at a public place. Two teams of officers were immediately dispatched and they intercepted 3 persons at the public place. Thus the 8 persons involved in this illegal trading of wildlife, including one serving police constable, were intercepted and 4 skins of Leopard (Panthera pardus) were recovered and seized under the provision of section 50(1)(c) of Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 as amended.
The seized contraband and the 8 persons who committed the offence under the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 were handed over to the officials of the Department of Wild Life Protection, Jammu and Kashmir after initial seizure proceedings under the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.
– global bihari bureau