Aligarh, Jan 15 (ANI): Police officials in Uttar Pradesh, given the stringent guidelines with from Election Commission in the wake of assembly elections to be held in five states, unexpectedly came upon a tortoise smuggling racket on Saturday.
The discovery, made in the Aligarh District, yielded about 900 tortoises in the possession of five men. One of the accused, Om Prakash Rana, said that the massive haul, weighing over a ton, was going to be taken to Mainpuri and Etawah.
"We had collected these tortoises over the last 7-8 days. The consignment weighs about 12 quintals. We were taking them to Mainpuri and Etawah. If we have a surplus, we send it to Kolkata," said Rana.
He revealed that the consignment would have been sold for 1000 rupees a kilo, and that they were in great demand for their supposed medicinal values.
Police inspector Arvind Kumar said that he had received the information while on election duty.
"We were on a round in the wake of the elections when we received information that some people were trapping tortoises in large numbers. We went to the canal and detained five men, who had in their possession about 900 tortoises, weighing a total of 12 quintals," said Kumar.
Police officials said that the accused who had been carrying out their activities for the past one year would be tried under the relevant wildlife protection laws. (ANI)