WCCB to look into cases of poaching by celebrities
LAKHIMPUR KHERI : The Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) has taken a serious note of the alleged involvement of renowned personalities in hunting of wild animals for fun.
Acting upon a recent report prepared by the field director of the Dudhwa tiger reserve, Ramesh Kumar Pandey, the WCCB has formed an eight member working group, headed by its additional director Tilottama Verma, to look into cases of wildlife poaching in which celebrities are involved. Pandey has also been appointed a member of this group.
Notably, after the arrest of international golfer Jyoti Singh Randhawa under charges of wildlife poaching and his alleged links with Prashant Bishnoi (held by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence in illegal import of arms), Pandey had sent a detailed report to the National Tiger Conservation Authority, the WCCB and the UP chief wildlife warden.
In this report, Pandey, while citing various cases of professional shooters involvement in wildlife crimes, had apprehended an emerging pattern and emphasised on the need to check the same. He said the WCCB shared his concerns and observed that the analysis of wildlife crimes over the past 7-8 years hinted at a nexus of big players with access to good weapons and hunting tools as well as their involvement in hunting of wild animals for sport. Pandey told HT, “The working group will analyse wildlife crime cases in which celebrities are involved and suggest ways to tackle the same.
The group will also organise meetings with the National Rifle Association and other such bodies, and sensitise them towards remedial measures.” He said that while forming the working group, the WCCB said it was the need of the hour to check antiwildlife practices and discourage errant groups or people.
▪ The Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) is organising a four-day training workshop for the mahouts of Dudhwa. The camp, to be organised from January 14 to 18, will look at sensitising the mahouts towards the physical and psychological needs of captive elephants.