The wildlife wing of the forest department conducted a massive raid at Ganganagar in South 24 Parganas and arrested eight persons for trading in paint brushes made from the hair of mongoose, a protected species.
The foresters said that around 20,000 brushes were seized from the possession of the accused, market value of which could well be above Rs 10 lakh.
Mongoose is a protected species under Schedule II and part II of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972. All mongoose species, including the Indian grey mongoose and marsh mongoose, are in huge demand for wildlife trade. Their meat is consumed by several tribes and the hair is used for making paint and shaving brushes and as good luck charms. In 2002, the Indian government upgraded the species to Part II of Schedule II of the Wildlife Protection Act to check the trade in their body parts and hair.