The Mumbai Police have arrested two persons for allegedly purchasing carcass of a whale shark brought to Sasson Dock in Colaba. The accused have been remanded to forest custody till August 18 after they were produced before a local court.
The accused have been identified as 50-year-old Jan Bahadur Yadav and 35-year-old Sham Rajaram Dhar.
On Wednesday, a 20-feet long dead shark was fished out of the sea by a fishing boat and brought to Sasson Dock. As officials headed to the spot, the shark was cut into several pieces with an intent to sell it to a distributor Jan Bahadur Yadav, a report in Hindustan Times said.
“We are interrogating the two accused to identify the involvement of other persons in this case. We have taken the help of fisheries department in identifying the boat through which the fish was brought to the dock,” the report quoted Suresh Warak, range forest officer (mangrove cell), as saying.
Whale sharks or Rhincodon typus are protected under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972. The species are listed as â€˜endangeredâ€™ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Yadav was caught by the forest and fisheries department when he came to Sasson Dock to take the delivery of the Whale. Another accused Dhar, who is a tempo driver, was also arrested on Thursday morning on charges of violating the Wildlife Protection Act.
“We have been able to trace the fishing boat that may have been used to smuggle the whale shark. We have summoned all those who were inside the boat for further investigation. Details will be shared with the mangrove cell after proper evidence. As of now, we are deploying more personnel at landing centres including Sassoon Dock to keep a vigil on illegal fishing practices affecting marine life,” said Rajendra Jadhav, joint commissioner (fisheries).
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