Guwahati, March 13: A person has been arrested in Assam’s Kokrajhar district for allegedly offering to sell parakeets on his YouTube channel, a forest official said on Monday.
He was apprehended by Gossaiagaon Police and later handed over to the Forest department, he said.
Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) of Kachugaon, Bhanu Sinha, told PTI that the accused, Jahidul Islam, was arrested on the basis of a complaint by People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
“After receiving the complaint, the local police as well as our department located the person. He was arrested by the police from Gossaigaon on Friday and the next day, he was handed over to us,” Sinha said.
The person was produced before the local court the same day and was sent to judicial custody, the official said.
“Two parakeets were recovered from Islam. The involvement of any other person will be known after investigation,” Sinha said.
Catching, trapping and sale of parakeets are illegal under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
The animals’ rights body had filed the complaint against Islam for his YouTube channel ‘Jahid Lifestyle’ which has videos of the accused and his accomplices entering forested areas, climbing trees to reach the nests of parakeets and catching them.
On the pretext of creating “educational” content on how to raise and feed parakeets, the YouTuber can be seen on video feeding a mixture of processed sugary biscuits and water to parakeet chicks which is contrary to their natural diet and highly detrimental for their health, the PETA statement said.
“PETA India commends the Kachugaon forest division for apprehending the culprit and rescuing the parakeets. Capturing, buying, selling or caging parakeets is illegal and can result in a jail term of up to three years or a fine of up to Rs 25,000 or both,” PETA India Cruelty Response Coordinator Saloni Sakaria said in a statement on Monday.
According to the information available on Islam’s YouTube channel’s home page, he had started the social media platform on June 12, 2020, has uploaded 326 videos and has 7.64K subscribers. (PTI)