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Forest dept could have prevented tiger poaching in CTR

 


Seema Sharma |
Times of India, TNN | Mar 15, 2016

DEHRADUN: A day after the special task force (STF) of Uttarakhand police seized the skins of five big cats from a gang of poachers, a red alert was issued in the entire Corbett Tiger Reserve (CTR). It also emerged that the state forest department, which went into a huddle soon after what was being called as "the biggest seizures", had prior information about Bawaria gang operating in CTR.

"We had provided specific intelligence inputs to both forest department and STF. We also took the police team to the spot where the Bawaria gang was hiding," Tito Joseph, program manager of Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI), said.

Principal chief conservator of forests (wildlife) DVS Khati admitted that the forest department had information about the Bawaria gang and its operations in Uttarakhand. Uttarakhand principal chief conservator of forests Rajender Kumar Mahajan too expressed deep concern over the recent unprecedented incidents of poaching in the state.

"While the police has gained expertise in dealing with such cases, the forest department hasn't. The department has somehow confined itself to forestry and conservation works. Wildlife protection is equally important. Forest department staff must be trained to deal with this issue," said Joseph.



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