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12 Jul 2018

Three held with tiger teeth from Bhutan

TT, Jalpaiguri: The special task force of Bengal forest department recovered a pair of canine teeth of a full-grown royal Bengal tiger from three persons near Chalsa in the Dooars on Wednesday.

The three, including a woman, have been arrested. They had brought in the items from Bhutan and were planning to smuggle the same to Nepal, said the foresters.

"We had a tip-off that some parts of a royal Bengal tiger were brought to the Dooars from Bhutan. Accordingly, we started an investigation and could locate persons who were carrying the teeth of a tiger. We contacted them as potential buyers and met them at a roadside eatery near Chalsa. There were three. As one of them took out the tiger teeth, we immediately arrested them," said Sanjoy Dutta, the officer of the Belakoba range under Baikunthapur forest division.

Dutta, who also heads the task force, said all the three were the residents of the Dooars.

"The two men had brought the animal parts from Bhutan while the woman was supposed to act as a carrier and take the items to Nepal. The size of each tooth is around four inches, which shows that they were of a full grown tiger that was killed, probably in Bhutan. We are trying to find out other body parts of the animal. Those arrested had plans to sell each tooth against Rs 1 lakh," the forester added.

Two of the arrested are Dipak Mahali of Naya Saylee and Shyam Kumar Tanti of Looksan, both under Nagrakata police station. The woman is Raina Khatun, who is from Totapara under Banarhat police station.

The forest officers said the three were suspected to be members of an international smuggling racket.

"They are using the Dooars and Siliguri as corridors to smuggle animal parts into countries like Nepal and even China. Our officers are working on information to trace other members of such rackets," said Anjan Guha, an officer of the Baikunthapur forest division.

All the three were produced in the chief judicial magistrate's court in Jalpaiguri on Wednesday and remanded in judicial custody for 14 days.

Additional reporting by Bireswar Banerjee in Siliguri

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