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Poaching a headache for forest, police personnel

K H Oblesh, Chamarajanagar, Nov 22, 2012, DHNS: 23:14 IST

Departments to launch a joint operation to check poachers

The forest and police department have decided to launch a joint operation against poachers possessing illegal country rifles and bullets in the areas of Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary and Kollegal forest region.

A huge number of poachers haunt the Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary which is spread over a area of 526.95 square kilometer and Kollegal forest region of 1,224 square kilometers and both forest and police department officials are a worried lot.

Generally, poachers do not carry the rifles with them to their house but hide them underground in the forest itself. Forest officials could arrest poachers along with weapons only if they are caught hunting in the forest region.

However, the forest department does not have enough powers to seize the weapons directly but do need aid of the police department.

Information regarding poachers at forest region is being gathered, meanwhile, following a tip-off that poachers from Tamil Nadu have been camping in nearby villages, officers are keeping a watch over them.

Threat to wildlife

Forest department officials opine that the rifles possessed by a few people along the forest region are a threat to the lives of wild animals.

The licences of those weapons belonging to their ancestors will not have been renewed after their death. “The police department has been informed about the issue to identify such illegal rifles,” they said.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, deputy conservator of forest, Kollegal forest region, Javeed Mumtaz said the poachers will never keep the rifles in houses, however we do not have power to seize them if found. “Thus assistance from police department is sought to launch the operation against poachers in the end of November,” he added.

Kollegal DySP Chenna Basavanna said it has been discussed with the forest officers to check the activities of poachers in the forest area. “We are gathering information regarding possession of unauthorised rifles,” he said.

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