GUWAHATI: In a significant blow to the rampant illegal wildlife trade, the Special Task Force (STF) of the Assam Police apprehended five individuals on Tuesday night, following a meticulous operation resulting in the discovery of an assortment of animal parts, including a prized rhino horn.
Acting upon a credible tip-off, the STF personnel conducted a raid in the Jakhalabandha area of Nagaon district, uncovering a stash that included elephant tusks, deer body parts, pangolin remains, and the highly sought-after rhino horn.
The detained individuals have been identified as Ghaffar Qureshi, Wakil Qureshi, Saiful Islam, Ujjal Bora, and A Sarma. The detainees are currently undergoing rigorous interrogation, shedding light on the scale of the illicit trade and the networks responsible.
Yesterday, the Government Railway Police (GRP) had achieved a major breakthrough by seizing a substantial 2.3kg elephant tusk at the Kamakhya Railway Station in Guwahati.
The confiscation was made during a meticulous search operation on the Guwahati-bound Lachit Express, and the tusk’s estimated market value stands between Rs 8 to 10 lakh. Sanjeev Joshi, the individual found in possession of the illicit item, was apprehended, marking a significant step in dismantling the intricate networks responsible for trafficking wildlife animal parts.
This success comes hot on the heels of a previous raid conducted by authorities from Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary on August 18. The operation in Laharighat, Assam, led to the seizure of an elephant tusk weighing approximately 2.5kg from the residence of Asmat Ali.
As Assam continues to grapple with the illegal trade of wildlife animal parts, the authorities are also seeking the public’s help for information to curb these crimes.
Notably, bird and reptile trafficking occur extensively along the India-Bangladesh border. Recent cases highlight the prominence of cities such as Guwahati, Siliguri, Aizawl, and Jalpaiguri as channels for the illicit trade of exotic animals and birds.