The accused include an AIADMK councillor of Madurai Corporation
Forest Department officials have on Friday caught from a city hotel eight persons, including an AIADMK councillor of Madurai Corporation, on charges of trying to sell a sand boa.
According to sources in the Forest Department, following a tip off, a team of officials led by the Coimbatore Ranger Natarajan raided the city hotel and found four persons in possession of the boa.
Based on the information provided by the four, the department officials also caught four more persons who were staying in two rooms. Those caught included the councillor S. Murugesan, representing ward 19.
A majority of those caught were from Madurai. A few of those worked in Tirupur as labourers, the officials said and added that the accused had claimed that they caught the boa from Kinathukadavu to be sold to people from Kerala. The officials explained that there was a myth that the boa meat had healing properties.
After nabbing the eight persons and rescuing the snake, the officials charged them under provisions of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 and slapped a fine of Rs. 25,000 each.
They then released the snake in Anaikatti forest.