Jaideep Shenoy

`More awareness needed on the provisions of the Act'

The training may commence next month `Illegal wildlife trade is thriving in several parts of the State' Police personnel to trained on the powers vested in them by the Wildlife Protection Act They will also be taught several aspects on investigation

MANGALORE: The Forest and Crime Investigation Department (CID) cell of the State Police is organising a seven-day training programme in the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 for police personnel of rank of sub-inspectors and above.

Proposed by K.S.N. Chikeroor, Inspector-General of Police (Forest and CID Cell), the training is aimed at creating awareness among officers on the powers vested in them by the Act.

Mr. Chikeroor told The Hindu that the training might commence next month. "I have to obtain clearance from the IGP (Training) for this. While it is my intention to organise the training at the Karnataka Police Academy, Mysore, it will be subsequently held at the various range headquarters across the State," he said.

Stating that such a training programme was organised in 1997, Mr. Chikeroor said it was imperative to keep officers abreast of the law with respect to wildlife protection.

Lack of awareness

"Many police personnel are not aware of the provisions of the Act and this is not good for protection of wildlife in the State," he said.

About the course content, Mr. Chikeroor said police personnel would be taught about the provisions of the Act, including aspects about investigation.

They would also be made aware of various aspects of the illegal wildlife trade which is thriving in several parts of the State, he added.

Stating that officers of the rank of police sub-inspectors were empowered to investigate cases booked under the Act, he said they would be taught how to made a positive identification of the pelts seized.

"People involved in the trade are adept at passing of the pelts of animals as those of animals whose pelts fetch a good sum in the grey market," he said.

"In such cases, we have to book a case of cheating against the accused and not under the Act," he said.

They would also be given information about various gangs including inter-State gangs which were involved in the trade.