Nagpur: Displaying the dismal attitude towards protection of tigers, the State Tiger Cell held its meeting on Saturday, the first after the gap of nine years. The State Tiger Cell was set up by Maharashtra Government with the aim of protecting the dwindling number of tigers. But the Cell, headed by State Director General of Police, never held its meeting in the past nine years.
However, since the DGP Satish Mathur was in city, he himself showed interest and convened a meeting of the State Tiger Cell on Saturday. Mathur said the Cell will strive hard to protect tigers. The meeting was attended by senior Forest Department officials and representatives of NGOs overlooking wildlife conservation.
Saturday’s meeting saw the State Tiger Cell deliberating in details over crimes related to wildlife. Incidentally, the Wildlife Week commenced from today and the crucial meeting took place on the first day. The meeting decided to increase coordination between Forest Department and Police Department Now, police will be given the direct responsibility to control the situation during rescue operation of tigers or any other wildlife. “Usually, during such rescue operations, the Forest Department personnel face hardship owing the gathering of crowd. Therefore, police will be deployed to deal with crowd during rescue operations on the lines of Bengal and Karnataka states. The powers of SDPO (Sub-Divisional Police Officer) will be increased for the purpose. Help of Police Patils of villages would also be sought for this job,” the meeting of State Tiger Cell decided.
In the press conference held after the meeting, the media bombarded the PCCF (Wildlife) Shree Bhagwan with the questions on the missing tiger Jai. The PCCF termed the issue of missing Jai as scientific one and admitted he has no information about the fate of the wild cat.
The meeting was also attended by Assistant PCCF N Rambabu, Commissioner of Police Dr K Venkatesham, Inspector General Ravindra Kadam, Wildlife Crime Control Bureau Chief and officials of Police and Forest Departments.