Rawat’s nod to Special Tiger Protection Force?
Dehradun: Against the backdrop of five tiger pelts being seized recently, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat has given his nod for setting up a 112-member Special Tiger Protection Force at the Corbett Tiger Reserve and deployment of 100 additional personnel for forest patrolling.
Clearance for constituting a Special Tiger Protection Force at Corbett was given by Rawat at a meeting with the Wildlife Board here yesterday, an official release said.
The Chief Minister also underlined the need for better co-ordination between the forest and police departments to check wildlife crimes and asked their officials to hold a high level meeting every month to take stock of wildlife crimes and take measures to control them.
Rawat’s nod to setting up a Special Tiger Protection Force follows several reminders from Union Forest Minister Prakash Javadekar for constitution of a dedicated force to protect tigers and reduce instances of man-animal conflict.
Rawat also suggested that phones of wildlife criminals should be put on surveillance and their photos or sketches should be circulated in public.
He said damaged roads in forest areas should be repaired on a priority basis to facilitate smooth patrolling.
Special Task Force of Uttarakhand Police arrested a poacher having links with an international gang of wildlife peddlers from Shyampur area of Haridwar district on March 13 and recovered five tiger pelts and 125 kg of tiger bones from his possession.
According to the STF, it was the biggest haul of tiger pelts from the hill state, worth Rs 70 lakh in the international market.
The arrested poacher has confessed to killing tigers in areas adjoining Corbett Tiger Reserve and Rajaji National Park. A case was lodged against the accused under the Wildlife Conservation Act, 1972.