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Leopard Skin Seizure Case Takes Curious Turn

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Leopard Skin Seizure Case Takes Curious Turn



Visakhapatnam: The leopard skin seizure case, in which officials from Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) took into custody four persons, has taken a curious turn with a lawyer claiming that the DRI personnel had tortured the four persons while interrogating them in custody.

Lawyer for the accused four, Saleem Abdus went on to post pictures of the accused persons – Farroque, Kasim, Feroze and Altab – on social media, demanding that a case be registered against the DRI personnel.

“All the four accused persons had been taken into custody by DRI personnel and forest department officials around noon from a hotel. The arrested were then severely tortured,” Saleem told this correspondent on Wednesday evening.

The lawyer underlined that all the four persons arrested belong to the minority community. He demanded that a case must be filed against DRI personnel under Section 330 of IPC.

Incidentally, forest department officials had produced the four accused before the local magistrate court as per provisions of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. The court remanded them to judicial custody for two weeks.

Earlier, forest officials said interrogation of the persons arrested following seizure of the leopard skin has revealed that the adult leopard had been poached three to four months ago in Odisha.

The poachers had been heading to Visakhapatnam along with the leopard skin to find prospective buyers when DRI officials caught them. Two vehicles and mobile phones have also been seized from the accused.

Incidentally, leopard is a protected animal in Schedule-1 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. Possession of the animal or any part of its body is a punishable offence under the act, which carries a punishment of seven-year imprisonment.