Eighty endangered turtles have been recovered and three men arrested in the Fatehabad area of Agra in Uttar Pradesh.
The turtles were being smuggled to the national capital and the value of the rescued turtles was estimated at Rs 18 lakh. All the turtles were of endangered species.
The three arrested persons have been identified as Ajay, Suraj and Lalla. They have been booked under the Wildlife Protection Act.
According to the police reports, the joint operation was carried out by the forest department and Fatehabad police who had received a tip-off about the smuggling of turtles.
Parvesh Kumar, Station House Officer (SHO) of Fatehabad, said, "The three accused were heading towards Delhi with 80 endangered species of turtles. During interrogation, they confessed that they captured the turtles from the Yamuna and Chambal riverbed." The three have been sent to jail.
A forest official said that the rescued turtles were identified as flapshell, crown and other species. They are often captured for their meat and are also exported illegally to South Asian countries," Mr Kumar said.