The railway police on Saturday arrested two Tamil Nadu natives while transporting rare species of parakeet birds on board a moving train.
The arrested have been identified as 50-year-old Meena and 40-year-old Dandapani, both natives of Erode district in Tamil Nadu.
Acting on a tip-off, the RPF officials found the duo transporting the birds, cross-winged parakeets, in four cages on board the Yaswanthpur-Kochiveli Express.
They were arrested when the train reached the Ernakulam North railway station in the morning. “The duo had kept the cages, covered with jute, close to the exit door of the S1 coach. The fellow passengers grew suspicious of their behaviour and alerted the RPF, which then carried out a raid’’, officials said.
Preliminary investigations revealed the birds were being transported to Thiruvalla from Tirupur. During interrogation, the duo confessed to purchasing the parakeets from tribals in rural Tamil Nadu and planning to sell them off at a higher price.
The accused and the seized birds were handed over to the Kodnadu forest range office for a detailed investigation. The duo has been booked under Schedule 4 of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972.