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Three held in Tripura for killing pythons

 AGARTALA, Feb 20 - The Tripura Police have arrested three tribal men for slaughtering six pythons at Kathalbari village in Kanchanpur subdivision of North Tripura district.

 A video clip and photographs of the pythons have gone viral across the social media where the pythons were publicly decapitated, skinned and cut into pieces last week.

Kanchanpur Sub-Divisional Police Officer Bikramjit Sukladas said that three men – Asi Chandra Reang (60), Rakanjoy Reang (45) and Purbachay Reang (45) – were arrested on Wednesday and produced in a local court on Thursday.

“They were arrested after the Forest Department filed an FIR in accordance with the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972,” Sukladas said over phone from Kanchanpur, 210 km north of Agartala. Earlier, North Tripura District Forest Officer (DFO) Naresh Babu said the three men caught the endangered pythons while doing jhum farming.

“The men brought the pythons to their village and slaughtered them publicly. They decapitated the pythons and cut them into pieces in the local market. Locals later consumed the pythons’ meat,” the DFO said. Several NGOs and wildlife activists have protested the killing of the pythons. They said that this illegal practice of destroying forests and wildlife has been going on for years, but no action has been taken or any awareness drive carried out. – IANS

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