Andheri West police raided Sunday morning a pet store allegedly selling protected tortoises and cruelly storing parrots and dogs.
Mubeen Merchant (23),owner of Pets Planet in Four Bungalows,was arrested at 9.15 am following a tip by an NGO.
Merchant has been operating the store for the past eight months. On Saturday,we received complaints from locals. They said Merchant would lock the shop at night and leave the animals alone. We approached Versova police and went to the store with an officer. The store was closed and Merchant initially did not appear. After police told him they would have to break open the lock,he opened it. Inside,we found two Indian tent turtles, said Chetan Sharma of People For Animals.
Illegal confinement of animals is a non-bailable offence and carries a prison sentence ranging from three to seven years.
Merchant has been charged under section 2 of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act,1960,and sections 9,39,44,49 (b) (I) and 51 of Wildlife (Prevention) Act,1972.