NAINITAL: The Uttarakhand forest department arrested five persons from a village in Almora district, on Tuesday, on charges of hunting a 125 kg giant devil catfish (Bagarius yarelli), which is categorized as a “near threatened” species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
The incident, which took place at Inlo village of Almora, came to light after disturbing selfies surfaced on social media where the fish was seen tied to a bamboo with a rope. The accused persons have been charged under Section 9 (prohibition of hunting) of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. The species comes under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act, showing that it requires utmost protection.
S R Prajapati, divisional forest officer (DFO), Almora, said, “A case has been registered against those allegedly involved in the incident. Interrogation of the accused is on.”