Man arrested in West Bengal caught trafficking around 1000 birds from Nepal
A man was arrested from Malda in north Bengal while trying to traffic around 1000 birds, mostly Alexandrine parakeets and hill myna, from Nepal on Wednesday night.
The birds were crammed in cages with their beaks tied with rubber bands to prevent them from chirping. Their heads were covered with small pieces of cloth. At least two birds died while being transported in the train.
A team of Railway Protection Force (RPF) officials arrested the man identified as Sheikh Sahid from Jogbani Express that connects Jogbani, a town in Bihar located along the Indo-Nepal border, with Kolkata.
“Preliminary investigation revealed that the man boarded the train from Katihar station. We are interrogating him to know how he got the birds and who was scheduled to receive them,” said VB Sharma, a RPF inspector.
Another RPF official said that the accused was supposed to get down at Burdwan station in south Bengal and reach Kolkata in a private vehicle.
“This is one of the most notorious routes through which birds are trafficked from Nepal into India. Earlier too RPF and forest department officials have seized birds on this route and from the same train,” said a forest department official.
Acting on a tip off, RPF officials carried out a search on the train and found the birds crammed in cages in one of the reserved compartments. The rescued birds were handed over to the state forest department.