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Wildlife crime control bureau keen to probe Goa tiger poaching


Panaji : The Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB), which was set up to check organised poaching, has not been approached to probe a sensational tiger poaching case in Goa, though the state’s forest department has made no headway in seven months.

The WCCB dismissed recent reports in the local media that it had been roped in to handle the poaching case but said it is keen to help the Goa government.

“The government has not made a formal request to the board seeking assistance in probing the tiger poaching incident in February this year,” WCCB Deputy Director Tejaswini Patil told IANS.

“We are a central government organisation. We need a formal request by the state government to start investigating such cases,” he said.

“We are a specialised agency formed to handle a crime like poaching and are keen to help but currently it is the Goa government’s issue,” said Patil, who is in charge of the WCCB’s Western region. WCCB was set up on the recommendations of the Tiger task force last year.

In February this year, poaching of a tiger in Mhadei wildlife sanctuary sparked a furore with forest department officials initially denying the incident. Wildlife activist Rajendra Kerkar who brought the poaching to light has alleged that he was being harassed by forest department officials.

While two people were arrested after several months and charged with the poaching, the probe has been marred by alleged political interference and a delay in receipt of forensic report on the tiger’s remains found near the site.

Three forest officials probing the poaching case have been booked for allegedly torturing and harassing the people arrested in the poaching case.