Assam: 74 rare tortoises seized from Silchar-Sealdah train, 2 arrested
The accused individuals were presented in the Lower District Court of CJM/Hojai on Tuesday for further legal proceedings.

Guwahati: The Railway Protection Force (RPF) of N.F. Railway acted on a tip-off and intercepted a huge quantity of rare tortoises being illegally transported on train no. 13176 (Silchar – Sealdah) Kanchenjunga Express on September 25, 2023.

On the same day, NFR stated through a press release that the RPF received an intelligence tip about the illegal transportation of numerous tortoises by unidentified individuals. They immediately shared this information with relevant authorities and then, a joint operation was launched at Lumding Railway station by a combined team of security forces.

During the inspection of train no. 13176 upon its arrival at Lumding Railway station, the inspection team noticed three suspicious black bags in the possession of two passengers, placed under their berths.

The suspects were asked to open the bags, revealing a total of six plastic containers, each containing tortoises. In total, 74 tortoises were discovered. Upon further questioning, the individuals admitted to transporting the tortoises from Silchar to Guwahati. Following the necessary legal procedures, officials took both the individuals into custody, along with the confiscated tortoises, plastic baskets, and bags.

Subsequently, the matter was reported to the Forest Range Officer, Lumding Range, who, along with their team, promptly arrived at RPF/Post/LMG to take possession of the 74 tortoises, along with the relevant documentation. Both individuals were apprehended under the Wildlife Protection Act.

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A case was registered by the LMG Forest Range Officer under case number L-05 of 23-24, dated September 25, 2023, citing sections 50, 51, 39, 44, and 48(A) of the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972.

The accused individuals were presented in the Lower District Court of CJM/Hojai on Tuesday for further legal proceedings.

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