The Wildlife Crime Control Bureau of the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests has launched a month-long drive ‘Operation Cobra’ to control the crime against elephants, lions, tigers, leopards, pangolins and other threatened and endangered wildlife.
Sources from the Ministry said the special programme was launched on January 7 and will conclude on February 3.
The programme has three main objectives – to target crimes associated with these species; impart training and organising capacity building for officials of the enforcing agencies and to exchange intelligence information among various agencies including State Police and Forest officials, Field Directors of Tiger Reserves in States, Customs, Central Industrial Security Force, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence and Railway Protection Force officials.
The Bureau is also in the process of creating a national-level database pertaining to wildlife crime. A senior official from the Bureau said data about the poachers from different States would be collected and the information compiled to create a database. The work is expected to be completed by March 31. As part of the capacity building, the Bureau would organise sensitisation programmes for participating officials from the law enforcing agencies from all the States.
The regional-level Bureaus would send reports of the outcome of the operation to the national coordinator at its headquarters in New Delhi. The national coordinator in turn would publish the details of the operation at the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau’s website hopefully by April, the official said.
Any crime involving humans would directly affect the people and the society. In the case of wildlife crime, it may not have an immediate impact on the humans, but in the long run, it would adversely threaten the very survival of humans, pointed out the officer.