Baripada: Amid allegations of wildlife poaching in various forests of Mayurbhanj district, officials Tuesday arrested a poacher and seized a leopard skin from his possession near Gandhi Park in Baripada town. The officials also seized two guns, five bows, 17 arrow heads, snares and nets from the poacher. The accused was identified as Laxman Murmu, a resident of Kendujhari village. Acting on a tip-off, Forest department officials raided the area and nabbed the poacher.
Wildlife activists have asked how the poacher was in possession of guns. They have requested the Forest department and the police to investigate whether guns are manufactured in the district or if there is an existence of a supply chain from other places. They have demanded a thorough investigation into the matter.
STF officials had earlier arrested two persons a couple of days back, identified as Bikash Bentakar of Badasahi, an engineering student and Bikash Bijay Singh of Khanua panchayat. A leopard skin had been seized from their possession and the STF had handed it over to officials of the Forest department.
Notably, a special team of the Forest officials has been on a strict vigil for the past six months to check poaching activities in Mayurbhanj districts. This month only, the officials had arrested five people involved in poaching activities inside Similipal sanctuary.