Key accused in ivory smuggling arrested



Kotdwara: The main accused in smuggling of elephant tusks worth nearly Rs 65 lakh in Dhobisrot in Lansdowne Forest Division has been arrested, police said Tuesday.

Jitendra was nabbed on the basis of information provided by two of his accomplices, Kiran and Jaipal, who were arrested earlier in a sting operation by the Special Task Force, police said.

The accused said he, along with Kiran sawed off the elephant tusks from the carcass and buried the remains nearby about six months ago, police said.

Kiran reportedly approached Jaipal to arrange for a sale of the ivory. He sold the tusks weighing 57 kg but the buyers were arrested in Kotdwar last week, police said.

Police have recovered skeleton of the elephant from Dhobisrot and now a DNA test will be conducted to determine the veracity of the accused's claim. Meanwhile, all the arrested have been sent to jail.

SP of Special Task Force A Senthil claimed this was the biggest haul of Ivory since the inception of Uttarakhand and said the tusks were worth more than Rs 65 lakh in the international market.

DFO of Lansdowne Forest Division Narendra Chaudhari said they were in the process of forming a joint team of forest officials and police for coordination in forest-related crime.

PTI