Leopard cat skin seized, civil services aspirant held

Officials of the Forest Cell of the Criminal Investigation Department arrested a 22-year-old engineering graduate who was trying to sell a leopard cat skin in Bengaluru on Thursday.

The accused Harsha is a native of Alur in Hassan district. He was trapped when a team of officials posing as prospective buyers struck a deal and lured him to the trap after asking him to deliver the pelt in Bengaluru.

Harsha, who had appeared for the police sub-inspector’s exam recently, is also a civil services aspirant. While officials caught Harsha, his cousin Rakshit managed to escape. Efforts are on to nab him also.

Harsha told the police Rakshit hunted the wild animals and asked him to sell the pelt. Leopard cats are protected under Schedule-1 of the Indian Wildlife Act and are mainly found in Mysuru, Kodagu, Chikkamagaluru, Hassan, and in the Western Ghats.

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