Jharigaon: Local Forest department officials today seized 115 tortoises from Jharigan in Odisha’s Nabarangpur district while the reptiles were being smuggled here from neighbouring Kalahandi district, departmental sources said.
Forest department has arrested two persons in this connection. Both the accused identified as Baburam Haldar and Premchand Bauli hail from Raighar block of the district. They will be produced in the local court at Umerkote, the sources added.
Following a specific intelligence input, local Forest department officials laid an ambush near Kelapadar forest beat and intercepted two suspicious looking motorcyclists with sacks. As the bikers didn’t stop, they were given a chase by Forest department officials, who nabbed them at Chho village.
The arrested have revealed to Forest officials that they often smuggled tortoises from Kalahandi district via Chaklapadar Dahimal, departmental sources said.
Out of the 115 tortoises seized from the accused persons seven were found to be dead and the remaining have been released into the Indravati river.