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Man turns up at noted wildlife conservationist's house to sell leopard skin, caught red-handed

Man turns up at noted wildlife conservationists house to sell leopard skin, caught red-handed

Kolkata: The state Forest department caught a person red-handed and seized a leopard skin from his possession at Hatibagan area in North Kolkata on Saturday afternoon. The person who was held had come with the skin at the residence of Joydip Kundu who is a member of the state wildlife board seeking assistance from him in disposing of the animal skin.

Kundu received a phone call at around 11.30 am from a person who sought his assistance in selling off a leopard skin. "I told him to come at around 1.30 pm and told him that I would check if its original or not. I immediately called up state Chief Wildlife Warden Ravi Kant Sinha and informed him about the matter. In an hour, a team led by ADFO Somnath Chatterjee from the state Forest department, reached my residence and hid inside a room. The person who had called me reached at 2 pm along with the skin and was caught red-handed," Kundu said.

The person arrested has been identified as Saurav Das, alias Gopal, and the skin was seized. Pursuing his statement one of his associates Tapabrata Majumder was also held. The forest officials have found several contradictions in the duo's statements when they were asked about the procurement of the leopard skin.

Kundu is a noted wildlife conservationist while his wife Suchandra Kundu is the honorary wildlife warden of Kolkata.

"It appeared queer to me that the youth turned up at my house with the skin. It could be a ploy to trap us and stop our relentless and vigilant work for conservation of wildlife," Kundu added.

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