RPF seizes 400 rare smuggled Turtles from Janata Express at Kanpur station

KANPUR: With the arrest of seven women smugglers, as many as 400 rare turtles stuffed in jute and air-bags were seized by Railway Protection Force (RPF) from the Delhi-Howrah bound Janata Express, at Kanpur Central railway station, here on Monday.

Four women are natives of Kolkata and three hails from the City, they were on their way to Howrah in West Bengal to deliver the consignment, informed an RPF official.

“We came to know about the movement of women smugglers following a specific tip-off and laid a trap at Kanpur Central. Later, we conducted massive search in the general compartment of Delhi-Howrah bound Janata express after it’s arrival at platform no: 5 and recovered 400 live turtles stuffed in jute and air-bags stashed below berths,” informed inspector RPF Sanjay Pandey.

The seven arrested women have been identified as Nirmala, Bachaiya and Rupa of Gaushala locality in Juhi area of the City, besides Anita, Savitri, Urmila and Phooladevi, all natives of West Bengal. They have been further taken into custody for interrogation.

According to a senior RPF official, “Preliminary investigation revealed that the women, who were ticketless, had boarded the train with jute and air-bags containing turtles at Etawah railway station. They further informed us that the animals were being smuggled to Howrah in West Bengal.”

The turtles were later handed over to Forest department officials, who will further release the animals into river Ganga, he added. It might be noted, turtle comes under Schedule I category of the Wildlife Protection Act and involves maximum punishment.

The arrest would surely expose turtle smugglers nexus. “We are also trying to know other smuggling routes, mode of transport and the purpose of the smuggling,” said a GRP official.