Four persons were arrested for allegedly possessing four tiger skin and two ivory, collectively worth Rs 13 lakh, from Chhattisgarh's Raigarh district, police said today.
"Acting on a tip-off, the alleged wild life traders were apprehended here yesterday near medical college when they were looking for an opportunity to sell ivory and tiger skin smuggled from Odisha. They were carrying the tiger skin and ivory in an SUV," Raigarh SP Rahul Bhagat said.
The cost of two elephant ivory is estimated at Rs 5 lakh and that of four tiger skins at Rs 8 lakh, he said, adding that the SUV was also seized by police.
The accused are identified as Veer Kishor Acharya (55), his wife Jyotsana (44), Dayanidhi Sanvayin (40) and Mukund Kumura (35), all residents of Sundergarh in Odisha.
During interrogation, Acharya, who is said to be the kingpin of the inter-state gang of wild-life traders, said that he was an Ayurvedic practitioner and also performed witchcraft.
"As per Acharya's statement, tigers' nails, skins and body party are used in practicing witchcraft," Bhagat said.
A case has been registered against them under section 379 (punishment for theft) of IPC, and under relevant sections of Wildlife Protection Act, the SP added.