KOLKATA: Two persons were arrested with almost 6kg deer meat in the Sunderbans on Friday. But unconfirmed reports said the quantity of meat was much more than what was claimed by officials.

According to sources, Santigachi, the place from were the meat was seized, was close to the very forests of Jhila, where back-to-back tiger deaths were reported a few months ago.

Acting on a tip-off, foresters raided the Santigachi area on Friday morning and caught the accused—identified as Swapan Mondal and Bablu Mondal from Rajat Jubilee—red-handed when they were reportedly trying to flee with the meat. “We are working jointly with the panchayat members to crack down on the entire network of poachers. More raids will be carried out in this connection in coming days,” said Nilanjan Mullick, field director of the Sunderbans Tiger Reserve. According to sources, after killing a deer, the poachers distribute the meat among themselves as divided consignments are easier to be smuggled out.

Earlier in 2013, three fishermen, who were residents of Kakdwip, were arrested from the Lothian Wildlife Sanctuary, They had confessed that they had laid traps to poach deer and wild boars. The same year, a villager was arrested from Amtali in Basirhat while he was feasting on deer meat.

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Source: TOI-Kol