Jagdalpur, Mar 12 (PTI) Eight persons, including five policemen and two health department personnel, were arrested for alleged possession of a tiger skin in Chhattisgarh's Bastar district on Friday, police said.
The accused were apprehended in front of a temple in Jagdalpur town, where they had allegedly planned to perform some rituals with the tiger skin, believing that it would bring them prosperity, inspector general of police (Bastar range) Sundarraj P said.
A joint team of Bastar police and the forest department was involved in this action, he said.
The accused included head constable Bhomraj Thakur (30), constables Arun Godiyam (30) and Pavan Kumar Nakka (32), assistant constables Rakesh Emla (25) and Babulal Majji (30), health personnel Har Prasad Gavde (41) and Surendra Kumar Dewangan (43), and Anil Nakka (25), he said.
While the head constable was posted in Bastar, the other four policemen and two health personnel were posted in Bijapur district, the official said.
On receiving a tip-off that some people were arriving in Jagdalpur to perform 'tantrik puja' (sorcery) with a tiger skin on the occasion of Mahashivratri on Thursday evening, the team swung into action, he said.
The team intercepted an SUV in front of Danteshwari temple on Friday afternoon and recovered the tiger skin from the vehicle, he said.
All eight accused were arrested, and during interrogation, they revealed they had collected the skin from two men in neighbouring Dantewada district and had planned to perform rituals with it, believing that it would bring them happiness and prosperity, the IG said.
The accused were booked under the provisions of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, he said.
Two assistant sub-inspectors Santosh Baghel and Ramesh Aganpalli posted in Bijapur have also been taken into custody for interrogation in this connection, he added. PTI COR TKP ARU ARU