|CBI-trained forest department reopens 50 cases of wildlife crimes
Indian Express, Sukanya Shantha
Sat Jun 22 2013
June 20 : HAVING lost 89 tigers and 169 leopards in the past 15 years,
the state government has reopened 50 cases of wildlife crimes pending
since 1996. CBI is training forest officers to crack the cases. The aim
is to bring down pendency, as 90 per cent of the cases are stuck at the
investigation or trial level. The cases reopened are those involving
species under schedule 1 (animals provided absolute protection) of
Wildlife (Protection) Act.
NGO Wildlife Protection Society of
India has listed 258 cases from across the state, including 26
registered in Mumbai, a “targeted wildlife trade city”.
targeted districts are Amravati, Bhandara, Chandrapur, Gondia,
Gadchiroli, Nagpur, Thane and Kolhapur, which are home to nearly 90 per
cent of tigers and leopards in Maharashtra. The state has 200 adult
tigers and a few hundred cubs. Several pre-1996 cases are pending
before courts or are unsolved, but “only hopeful cases have been
revived”, principal secretary (forest) Praveen Pardeshi said.
Kumar, CBI western region head, prepared a training module for forest
officers and judicial members in January. An expert in wildlife
forensics who helped in conviction of 45 lion poachers in Gir, he has
been helping the forest department since “Our officers never looked at
forensic details such as bloodstains or sent hair/nails found at crime
scenes for DNA sampling. We have started doing this now,” Pardeshi said.