Tiger poacher nabbed in DWS with tiger skin, body parts and weapon

From Our Correspondent

ANINI, Feb 27: A tiger poacher was caught red handed from Dibang Wildlife Sanctuary, Anini on February 24 last with tiger skin, body parts and weapons and arrested.

A massive joint operation led by Guwahati-based Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB),  under Kolkata’s Eastern Region Headquarters, Arunachal Pradesh Forest Department and Assam Forest Department was conducted based on a tip off.

The team led by WCCB inspector Jawaharlal Baro along Dhola-Sadiya to Roing/Anini Road seized: 1) Royal Bengal Tiger skin – one  approx size-2.15 mtrX 1.45 mtr); 2) tiger canine – four pieces; 3) skull with teeth – one; 4) bones – 46 pieces; 5) vehicle bearing no. AS23V2160 and 6) few documents.

The detained poacher was identified as Jakir Husain, S/o – Abdul Gani, village – Nagaon (Hagun toli), PO- Datyal Bori, PS- Lorighat, district – Nagaon, Assam.

However, main accused from Anini/Roing managed to escape taking advantage of thick forest on seeing the approaching the team.

During investigation, mobile phone photograph of the accused revealed that the tiger was killed in Malinye area of Dibang Wildlife Sanctuary (DWS), Anini with the support of local poachers. Thus, efforts are on to nab those accused.

Itanagar report adds: On getting report of tiger poaching, state PCCF had formed a high level committee led by Namdapha Tiger Reserve field director for further inquiry in DWS to provide technical assistance to investigation team. Directions were issued to local authorities to be on high alert to nab the offenders and prevent any poaching incident.

There were various hints about tiger poaching as only 4 to 5 frontline staff guard the vast DWS spread in  4149  area. The Wildlife Institute of India (WII) in collaboration with National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) had carried out a preliminary rapid tiger census survey in DWS in 2013-14, which had confirmed presence of tiger for the first time.

The study carried out by WII had documented 11 tigers by camera traps in only around 336 km of total 4149 sqkm area. Thus, it was presumed that the DWS and adjoining landscape could have many more tigers. Thus, after the study, the MoEF&CC department started the process to declare the DWS as Dibang Tiger Reserve to get resources and technical assistance under Project Tiger scheme.

However, the NTCA 20th meeting, chaired by Union MoEF&CC Minister held at Pakke Tiger Reserve on 09.04.22, based on WII-NTCA study, had approved declaration of DWS as Dibang Tiger Reserve. But, the state Govt, due to various reasons, the State Gov is yet to submit its final report for concurrence and notification by MoEF&CC. Once notified, the DWS would be one of the unique and largest tiger reserve the country.

However, the NTCA in December last has sanctioned three battalion of Special Tiger Protection Force (STPF) with 112 personnel, one each for three existing tiger reserves of the state located at Pakke, Namdapha & Kamlang Tiger Reserves. The approval of the state Govt for recruitment process is in progress, state Chief Wildlife Warden Nyilyang Tam said in a release.

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