WCCB to look into cases of poach­ing by celebri­ties

Hindustan Times (Lucknow) - - Uttarpradesh -

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.

HT

▪ 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.

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