Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: Odisha has been witnessing a steep rise in the instances of wildlife crimes which was again evident after the Special Task Force (STF) of the Crime Branch seized a leopard skin at Bolagarh in Khordha district on Wednesday.

Though the STF has so far managed to nab a number of poachers and traders of wildlife products in the recent past, the instances of poaching continues unabated.

To deal with the situation, the STF has now sought help from the general public to initiate a mega crackdown on organised syndicates involved in wildlife crime in the State by starting a helpline. People can directly share information with the police henceforth by calling on the helpline number (9439263646) on matters related to crimes against the wild from anywhere in the state.

As per an official notification, the name and other details of the callers would be kept secret. The STF is the specialised wing of Odisha Police meant to curb organised crimes in the State.

A senior official said that in most cases the STF was able to launch a crackdown on the wildlife crime based on its own intelligence inputs and information collected from citizens.

“In case of seizure/arrest based on the specific and accurate information, the concerned informer would be suitably rewarded,” an official release read.

Also Read: Odisha: Leopard Skin Seized In Nayagarh, 2 Held

It is pertinent to mention here that the STF had launched a special drive against wildlife criminals/poachers last year. So far, the agency has seized as many as 12 leopard skin, 6 elephant tusks, 2 deer skin, 2 live pangolins and 5 kg pangolin scales.

Apart from this, the STF has arrested 24 wildlife criminals in 13 cases registered at different parts of the State.