11 arrested while worshiping 2 elephant tusks in Sundargarh district

Rourkela: Forest officials today conducted a raid and arrested 11 persons while they were worshiping two elephant tusks inside a house at Bhaliadihi village Sundargarh district.

Acting on a tip-off, a team of forest officials from Bonai Subdivision conducted a raid at the house of one Biraja Munda of Bhaliadihi village and seized two elephant tusks and arrested a total of 11 persons including Biraja from the spot. The officials also seized two bikes and 11 mobile phones of the arrested persons.

Rourkela Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Jasobanta Sethi confirmed that the people were worshiping the elephant tusks while the raid was conducted. However, investigation is underway to find out their involvement in smuggling of wildlife, he added.

“After finding videos and photos from the mobile of one of the arrested persons named Jasobanta Patra of Keonjhar we suspect him and other involvement in the wildlife trafficking,” the DFO added.

All the arrested persons were forwarded to the court after their arrest and further probe is underway.

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