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Wednesday, Nov 20, 2019

More than 500 parakeets seized in Bengal from Patna-Kolkata bus; two arrested

environment Updated: Sep 14, 2019 21:06 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Kolkata
Five hundred and twenty four parakeets, trapped in 11 cages, were seized from Bengal’s East Burdwan district
Five hundred and twenty four parakeets, trapped in 11 cages, were seized from Bengal’s East Burdwan district(Photo courtesy Wildlife Crime Control Bureau )

Officers of the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) on Saturday arrested two men and seized from their possession 524 parakeets, trapped in 11 cages, from Bengal’s East Burdwan district. The birds, protected under Indian Wildlife Protection Act and illegally sold as pets, were being carried in a bus plying on the Patna-Kolkata route.

“Sekh Akhtar and Baisakhi Mohammad, both residents of Dubrajdighi, Burdwan, were arrested. This is one of the biggest seizures of parakeets in Bengal in terms of numbers,” said Agni Mitra, deputy regional director of WCCB, an arm of the Union ministry of environment, forest and climate change.

The accused were handed over to the state forest department officers, Mitra said. The birds that are able to fly will be released in the wild.

In April this year, WCCB and state forest department rescued around 550 protected Indian birds such as parakeet, Asian koel and hill myna during back to back raids at Galiff Street in central Kolkata where protected birds and animals are sold illegally.

Hundreds of birds, along with some new born chicks, were found locked inside cramped cages. Nine people were arrested.

Authorities had seized two pangolins from a house in Bhowanipore and arrested six people, including a woman on September 8 in connection with the seizure.

Pangolins are trafficked for their meat and their scales are in demand in south Asian countries.

On June 1, the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau in a joint operation with West Bengal forest department had held three people and seized a lion cub and three baby langurs they were transporting in an SUV headed to Kolkata from Bangladesh on the Belghoria Expressway.