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Malda: A cache of wild endangered turtles has been rescued from an express train at Malda before they could be smuggled to Bangladesh.

Acting on a tip-off, the Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel conducted a search in S3 coach of the 13414 Delhi-Malda Town Farakka Express soon after it arrived at Malda around 7.50 this morning.

This led to the recovery of 39 large-size turtles that were hidden under the passenger seats in rucksacks and gunny bags. Each of the turtles weighs around 10-12 kgs. Following the recovery, RPF arrested two persons to whom then bags belonged.

The two have been identified only by their first names as Babu and Raju, both residents of Sultanpur in Uttar Pradesh. Preliminary investigation revealed that they had collected the turtles from UP and Bihar and were taking them to Malda to smuggle the turtles to Bangladesh.

Due to the religious superstition that eating turtle flesh is pious in Islam, the demand for turtle meat is very high in Bangladesh.