Two persons were held on June 4 for allegedly possessing leopard skin in Chhota Udepur to perform “black magic”, police said.
According to officials, Dayabhai Vankar (55), a native of Chhota Udepur, and his nephew Jayantibhai Vankar (33) were held by the forest department on June 4 for allegedly possessing a leopard’s skin. According to officials, the duo had kept the skin in their house in Chhota Udepur to perform “black magic” as per superstitions.
Forest officials were alerted by a few wildlife activists based in Vadodara, after which they conducted a raid in the wee hours of June 4.
“The two accused have claimed that they had kept leopard skin to perform a ritual, wherein they are required to sit on the skin and perform a puja, after which notes are supposed to fall from above as reward. It’s a superstition which the two believe in and we have booked them under the Wildlife Protection Act,” said NM Pandya, Deputy Conservator of Forests, Chhota Udepur.
Officials are now trying to determine how the accused managed to get hold of the leopard skin.
“The two in their statement have said that they had bought the skin from a man in Madhya Pradesh back in 2004. However, we are probing the entire matter. The two have been kept in quarantine for their Covid-19 test and they will be arrested later,” said Pandya.
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