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Ten fishermen held in Odisha

Fishermen catching fish

Kendrapara (Odisha):  Ten fishermen have been taken into custody by forest personnel on charge of trespassing into prohibited water-zone of Bhitarkanika National Park in Odisha’s Kendrapara district.

Intensifying its vigil in the wake of recent cases of reptile deaths, a patrol squad of wildlife officials intercepted three country boats and arrested 10 persons who were on board, forest officials said.

The interceptions took place in Habelikhati, Ekakulanasi and Agarnasi creeks of the national park on Saturday. The arrested persons, all traditional inland fishermen, are residents of park side villages, they said.

The accused were charged under section 29 and 31 of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 while the boats engaged for unlawful fishing activity were seized. Nets and other fishing implements were also confiscated, said forest officials.

“Fishing activity within the water-bodies of the wildlife sanctuary and national park is a cognizable offence. The forest department has stepped up its vigil on any act of trespass into prohibited territories to ensure the safety of flora, fauna and the fragile eco-system of Bhitarkanika,” said Divisional Forest Officer, Rajnagar Mangrove (wildlife) Forest Division, Bimal Prasanna Acharya.

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