Wildlife crimes to be studied to record prosecution time
Corbett Tiger Reserve director Surendra Mehra will steer the study on wildlife crimes in the reserve and adjoining areas in the state.Updated: Feb 26, 2018 22:00 IST
A research will be done on wildlife crime cases in Uttarakhand to find out their prosecution time from the date of reporting.
Corbett Tiger Reserve director Surendra Mehra will steer the study on wildlife crimes in the reserve and adjoining areas in the state.
“Even if we have caught someone with wildlife parts, it takes at least a year to register the case. The minimum time taken in resolving a wildlife crime is at least three years,” Mehra said. “The research will prepare a comprehensive protocol and format of the details needed for quicker reporting of such cases.”
The study is titled ‘Evaluation of wildlife forensic reporting in law enforcement and its impact on prosecution under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 and related laws in the state of Uttarakhand with special reference to case studies from Corbett and adjoining landscape.’ The research will be carried out in association with Dehradun-based Wildlife Institute of India (WII).
The research aims at documenting types of wildlife crimes and the average time taken for the prosecution of the cases. The study will serve as a benchmark to handle wildlife crime cases in the country.
In Uttarakhand, more than 600 wildlife crime cases have been reported since the state’s formation in 2000. “The first task will be to gather details of the cases and segregate them. The cases could broadly be divided on the basis of species (as per the Wildlife Protection Act), offences -- hunting, smuggling -- and agencies involved -- police, NGOs, forest department and others -- in cracking the cases,” Mehra said.
Poaching of tigers in Corbett reserve’s Savalde range in May 2012 had shaken forest officers. The forest department arrested nine people belonging to Bawariya community. Five tiger skins were seized in March 2016.
“The evidence and forensic reports play a key role in determining the charges against the accused. We will try to find out what kinds of reports are needed as strong evidence so that it should also give a clear picture to officers to prepare official documents based on the format,” Mehra said.
According to forest department records, 227 crime cases related to leopards were reported between 2007 and 2015, and 177 regarding deer family species -- chital, sambhar, barking deer and swamp deer.
First Published: Feb 26, 2018 22:00 IST