By K.H. Obalesh
Palar incident: Deceased was a mere fisherman, says family
The killing of wild animals in Cauveri Wildlife Sanctuary and Malemahadeshwara Wildlife Sanctuary by Tamil Nadu-based poachers is on the rise and Karnataka Forest department officials express helplessness as they claim that the TN government is not cooperating.
Both the sanctuaries share a total of 70 km border with Tamil Nadu and the residents of Govindapadi, Kadikare, Punjikorai, Chetypatti and other villages have become poachers.
They enter the Karnataka forests and poach various animals like deer, gaur, hare and even elephants. Officials suspect, there might be a network that traffics tusks.
Forest department officials in Chamarajanagar district have prepared a list of 80 TN-based poachers and have forwarded it to thier counterparts in the neighbouring State.
But, they say, there is no follow-up on the list since 18 months. “It has been a long time since a joint meeting of Forest officials from both the states was held. A meeting had been scheduled for July 5, but it did not happen as TN officials did not cooperate,” an official said, on condition of anonymity.
Since 2013 to September this year, a total of 266 poaching cases have been filed in the district. Under Malemahadeshwara sanctuary, 171 cases were filed in 2013-14 and 44 till september.
In Cauveri sanctuary, while 24 cases were reported in 2013-14, 27 cases have been reported in just six months till September. According to officials, at least 50 per cent of the offences have been committed by poachers from TN.
The official said, in both the sanctuaries spread over 1,900 square km and there are a total of 42 anti-poaching camps, but the number of staffers does not cross the 100 mark. The government is not appointing sufficient number of watchers and guards, no sophisticated gadgets and arms are provided, he informed.