Acting on a tip off, a team raided Samundeshwari textile shop in Vettaikaranpudur on Monday and seized the tushes. Preliminary inquiries revealed that T Manian, 42 from Thammampathi in Sethumadai had noticed the skeletal remains of a female elephant at Boyankadu range near ‘Pothamadai Sutru’ three days ago.
He took along the two tushes of the elephant and attempted to sell it to M Mohanraj from Kamaraj Nagar in Odayakulam. It is learnt that Mohanraj had planned to use them to make traditional medicine.
However, the Forest Department got wind of their plan and seized the tushes and arrested them both under Wildlife Protection Act 1972. Manian is already facing cases for sandalwood smuggling.
An official said that disciplinary action will also be initiated against the field staff of the Forest Department for failing to report to the department on the carcass of the elephant, which had presumably died a few months ago.
The accused were remanded by Pollachi judicial magistrate 1 and lodged in Coimbatore Central Prison.
“A special team led by Assistant Chief Conservator of Forests has been formed to prevent people from venturing into the forest either to collect or sell valuables from the wild. Strict action will be taken against the offenders,” said S Arokiyaraj Xavier, Deputy Director of ATR.