With several tiger poaching cases being unearthed, the interstate meeting of wildlife and territorial forest officials from Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh on Tuesday has strongly pushed for a centralized data bank of wildlife criminals and poachers at the national level.
The Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) is already in process of preparing such a data bank. Almost 35 top officials from APCCF to DFO rank from both the states attended the one-day meeting organized in Pench Tiger Reserve (Maharashtra).
Chief wildlife warden of Maharashtra, Sarjan Bhagat and MP, Narendra Kumar attended the meeting. Both Bhagat and Kumar did not respond to calls made to them.
Senior officials, who attended the meeting, told TOI that a good part of the meeting was spent on discussing the recent poaching cases. The need for having a national data bank on wildlife criminals on the lines of police department was strongly recommended.
"The database would contain profiles of criminals operating in tiger-bearing states and old cases against them. Though creation of such a base needs expertise and is difficult, it will help legally and also in identification of criminals involved in tiger poaching repeatedly," they said.
"The idea of such a database has been floated long back, but no steps were taken in the past. The department is considering creating such a database for the past five years, but it should be done after 1972, when the Wildlife Protection Act came into place," a source said.
The Maharashtra forest officials also explained how they arrested 16 hard-core organized tiger poachers in the past five months. More....