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Pb: Rare turtles seized during poll liquor raid

CHANDIGARH: A raid to test the distribution of illicit liquor forward of the Lok Sabha elections yielded not simplest copious amounts of nation booze from a Tanda municipal councillor’s space in Hoshiarpur but a significant secondary seizure: 11 turtles accorded the best coverage under Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, at par with tigers, leopards and lions.

What is of shock to the Punjab forests and wildlife preservation division is that the raid conducted final week in Chandigarh Colony of Tanda the town in Hoshiarpur district is also the end of a poaching racket with turtles from the state’s wetlands and rivers equipped for meat and pet trade. “The police could safe remand only for in the future of the accused particular person, Bachni, who belongs to a tribe, some of whose contributors are recognized to be serious about poaching. Though she advised the police that the turtles have been for personal consumption as their flesh used to be an alleged treatment for some illness, we need to know from where the turtles have been poached and in the event that they have been equipped further up the chain,” Punjab most important leader conservator of forests (PCCF) (wildlife) Kuldip Kumar advised TOI.

According to the FIR lodged via the excise and taxation division, Bachni has been booked under Section 61 of the Punjab Excise Act, 1914, and Sections nine, 39, 50 and 51 of the WLPA. She is the better half's mother of a Tanda municipal councillor, Radha Rani. “The accused advised us that she has a illness so she eats turtles on and off. The facts of her declare can simplest be ascertained via an inquiry via the Tanda police or the wildlife division,” ASI Gurdev Singh of the excise division mentioned.

According to heads of India Programme of Turtle Survival Alliance Shailendra Singh, turtles are poached for meat, as pets and for standard Chinese medications and in addition exported illegally.

“The turtles seized via the excise division have been later launched in wetlands flanking the Beas after securing court docket permission. They would have perished had they been retained as court docket property. The whole unlock exercise used to be videographed,” the PCCF (wildlife) added.

An additional knot used to be added to the thriller via the “flawed id” of the seized turtles. While the wildlife division claimed the species used to be the Black Pond turtle (Geoclemys hamiltonii) in accordance with id via WWF-India functionaries based totally in Punjab, Shailendra rejected the declare. “These are Indian Flapshell (Lissemys punctata) turtles of the wetland morph, but additionally placed under Schedule I of the WLPA.”

The PCCF (wildlife) advised NewsTread he would have the id re-checked and if required get a correction issued in the official documentation.

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