Three men from Punjab have been arrested for allegedly trying to sell more than 150 Alexandrine Parakeets to sellers in Jama Masjid, Shastri Park and other areas in the capital.
Alexandrine Parakeets are in high demand as they have the ability to mimic human speech. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the Alexandrine Parakeet has a near threatened species status.
The rescued parrots are 10 days old, and the accused had retrieved them from hilly areas in Punjab. Police said they received information on April 16 that the Parakeets were brought into Delhi through a private roadway bus, packed into double-partition iron cages.
The accused, Alimuddin, Imran and Mohammad Kamar, had left from Bhatinda and shifted to another bus in Ludhiana. They reportedly struck a deal to sell the birds to a man who runs a bird shop in Moolchand.
When the bus arrived at 5.30 am, police teams nabbed the accused from the spot. Police invoked sections of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, and arrested the men. They were produced before a local court and remanded in judicial custody till April 30.
"All the birds are very young and require proper treatment and care. Hence, the birds, numbering 155, are directed to be kept at Jain Bird hospital with the direction to the director concerned to keep all the birds in safe custody," the court order read.
The birds underwent a four-hour treatment at the hospital and are reportedly safe.
The animal welfare officer with a private NGO, who tipped off police, said, "The Parakeets lay eggs high up in the trees. We have seen people climb up the trees to retrieve them. They are able to say a few human words, and have to be taught within the first year of their birth. They fetch anywhere between Rs 4,000 and Rs 5,000. The ones who are able to mimic human speech can fetch as high as Rs 25,000."