To check the incidents of poaching in the forests of North Bengal, the state forest department is planning to provide special training to its employees conducting vigil.
The department also has a plan to engage some informers who will provide intelligence inputs about the whereabouts of the poachers to the forest department officials.
In the wake of repeated incidents of smuggling the body parts of various animals, the forest department has come up with this unique idea which they believe will prove handy to check such incidents.
Poaching the animals and then smuggling their body parts have been a serious concern for the forest department officials.
The number of such incidents has also gone up in the last few years.
A racket has been operational in the area who smuggle parts of various animals to other countries as well.
Sensing the seriousness of the matter, a few months ago a case was handed over to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID). Police and forest department officials have time to time arrested many accused but this is not enough to curb these incidents.
The department has chalked out an elaborate plan to start a training programme among the forest department employees so that they can carry out better surveillance along the forest areas. The department will not only provide incentives to the people who will gather information on the poachers, but they will be also be given various prizes for their job.
The department has a plan to give special trainings to the forest protection committee members as well. Every now and then animal parts are being smuggled to various parts of the country and abroad for a huge sum of money. A senior official said that the department feels the need of setting up a team of informers who will carry out the surveillance.
The forest dwellers will be involved in the plan. Training would be given to the local villagers. The people who will be a part of the plan will be brought under a security cover apart from the monetary benefits.
“The incidents of poaching and smuggling of animal parts could be checked by setting up a team of informers. A workshop was also organised in North Bengal in this regard,” a senior forest department official said.
It may be mentioned that the forest department had busted such a racket from North Bengal few days ago and arrested four persons from whom an AK 47 and 46 rounds of ammunition were recovered.
During the interrogation the accused have admitted that they were involved in the smuggling racket. They had been smuggling the rhino horns to other countries. Prior to this incident, the department had arrested five persons and recovered elephant tusks, skin of leopards and the skull of a bear in Jalpaiguri late last month.