Six pythons being slaughtered at Chimlung, a village along Mizoram border, in Tripura Credit: File image

Agartala: Three people who were arrested in connection with the illegal slaughtering of six endangered pythons at Chimlung village along the Tripura-Mizoram border on February 9 were on Thursday sent to judicial custody till March 3.

The trio — identified as Asi Chandra Reang (60), Rakanjoy Reang (45) and Purbachay Reang (45) — were arrested on charges of killing six endangered pythons violating the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, SDPO Bikrajit Suklajit Das said.

Soon after the picture and videos of endangered pythons being slaughtered went viral on social media, the state forest department started investigating the incident. An FIR was also registered with the police.

They were produced in the court on Thursday where they were sent to 14-day judicial custody till March 3.

Earlier on February 8, the farmers who had gone for ‘jhum’ cultivation had come cross the pythons and brought them back to their village. Later, the villagers slaughtered all the six endangered pythons and sold them in the open market, DFO Naresh Babu said.

Following the killing of the six reptiles, several animal lovers and NGOs including Pawsome had reacted sharply on the role of the forest department for failing to apprehend the slaughter of endangered pythons in the villages.

“The practice of killing animals of endangered species and destroying the wildlife has continued for years but the local administration and forest officials have remained silent. We are going to meet the local administration and demand them to take immediate measures to stop the illegal practice,” Pawsome’s Wrighbed Dutta said.

He also said that the practice is in clear violation of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 & is also against the guidelines of Food Safety & Standards Authority of India.

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