A man allegedly involved in a series of elephant poaching incidents has been arrested from Sundergarh district by the forest department of Sambalpur.
The accused, identified as Hrudananda Bhainsa of Sol village in Sundergarh district, was a mediator between the poachers and the ivory mafia, Divisional forest officer Santosh Joshi said.
He had a prominent role in supplying poison, used for killing of the elephants, to the poachers.
"He was procuring the poison from Arunachal Pradesh," he said.
The poachers used to apply poison on the bullets to kill elephants. Because of the application of the poison, the elephants died within a short time following which the poachers would remove the tusk, Joshi said.
"The accused was also helping poachers in selling the tusks. The tusks were being sold to an ivory mafia in Chhatisgarh," said Joshi.
The accused used to procure poison at a cost of Rs 60,000 per kg and charge Rs 15,000 from the poachers for the killing of each elephant.
Hrudananda was involved in the killing of an elephant in Kendarapat forest at Dudkakud under Padibahal forest range and a pachyderm near Bhoipali in Sambalpur district, he said.
Two mobile phones were seized from the possession of the accused yesterday. He was sent to court today.
Earlier, three persons were arrested from the Jamankira area of the district in connection with elephant killing.
Three others were arrested in connection with elephant poaching from the Jhankarpali Panchayat in Jujomura block of the district on August 4.
"The six persons had revealed about Hurdananda's involvement during interrogation," an official said.