SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir government has decided to crack whip against the wildlife poachers and smugglers.
Wildlife protection department has started training its ground staff in crime control. Illegal wildlife trade is next to narcotics in the international market.
Jammu and Kashmir is home to some endangered species which are always on the radar of poachers. From Hangul to snow leopards, Jammu and Kashmir has rich wildlife wealth.
Taking undue advantage of the law and order situation, the poachers have been quite active in some parts of Jammu and Kashmir in the past.
In 2013, poachers brutally killed an endangered leopard and scooped out its teeth and nails before dumping its carcass in the jungles in the Doda district. Earlier in 2011 unidentified poachers beheaded a leopard and brutally killed her two cubs in Doda. Poachers later fled with the severed head and limbs of one of the cubs after dumping the carcasses in the fields at Jakhadi village of Doda district.
Leopard is a schedule one animal which categorizes it among the endangered species. Poachers kill these wild cats for their skulls, hide, teeth, and nails which have huge demand outside the country. The teeth of the leopard are used as jewelry by some people while other body parts too are used for
varied reasons like showpieces et al. Some people also kill the wild cat for its body parts which they reportedly used for superstitious tantrik rituals.
Many species of wildlife in Ladakh trans-Himalaya like snow leopards and chiru (Tibetan antelope) are of very high commercial value in the international market for luxuriant fur and wool. They are always on the radar of poachers who hunt them to earn quick bucks
Sensing the urgency, the Department of Wildlife Protection conducted a training program for wildlife crime control in Jammu. The trainees comprised field staff from various Wildlife Divisions of the Jammu Region.
The training program also had a mock crime scene, collection of evidence, and framing of the case. The participants were apprised about various parts and products in the illegal wildlife trade, as well as the procedure for the collection of samples. The trainees were made aware of DNA Forensics and the latest amendments in the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
Suresh Kumar Gupta, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife)said the department is regularly monitoring such activities and action is taken under the law whenever such incidents are reported. He called upon trainees to take maximum benefit of the program and have free interaction with resource persons.