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Arunachal: Tiger Poacher arrested with Tiger Skin, body parts from Dibang Wildlife Sanctuary

The main accused of the case have absconded by taking advantage of thick Forest after the team apprehended the vehicle.

ANINI ( By Maksam Tayeng )- A Tiger Poacher arrested in Dibang Wildlife Sanctuary, Anini, after he red handedly caught with Tiger Skin, body parts and weapons.

In a massive joint operation led by Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB), SRO, Guwahati under Eastern Region Headquarters, Kolkata, Arunachal Pradesh Forest Department and Assam Forest Department on a tip off information a Tiger Poacher has been red handedly caught and arrested in the Dibang Wildlife Sanctuary, Anini in the State of Arunachal Pradesh.

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On 24th February, 2023,  a team of Officers and Forest personnel lead by Jawaharlal Baro, Inspector, WCCB,  The team seized following items in Dhola sadiya to Roing/Anini Road and also detained a person namely Zakir Husain, Resident of Nagaon district of Assam.

Seized Items

  • Royal Bengal Tiger skin- 01 no ( approx size-2.15 Mtrs x 1.45 mtrs).
  • Tiger canine – 04 pieces.
  • Skull with teeth- 01 no.
  • Bones- 46 pieces.
  • Vehicle bearing no. AS23V2160

The main accused of the case from Arunachal Pradesh (Anini/Roing) have absconded by taking advantage of thick Forest after the team apprehended the vehicle. However, the team could recover few documents of the absconded culprit from the vehicle.

During investigation it was revealed with a photograph from the mobile phone of the accused that the Tiger was actually poached from Malinye area of the Dibang Wildlife Sanctuary Anini with the support of the local poachers. However, investigation is in progress to nab the other accused from Anini and Roing areas.

Immediately after getting the report of Tiger Poaching, the PCCF, Arunachal Pradesh has constituted a High Level Committee under the Chairmanship of Field Director, Namdapha Tiger Reserve for further inquiry into the issue in Dibang Wildlife Sanctuary and to provide technical assistance to Investigation team. Further directions are also issued to the local authorities to be on high alert to nab the offenders and prevent such Poaching incidents in Anini and other parts of the State as well.

Also Read- NSCN-K (YA) cadre, OGW apprehended in Nampong, recovered arms and ammunition

There have been indirect information from various sources about the incidences of Tiger Poaching in the Dibang Wildlife Sanctuary, however as the Project Tiger scheme is still not brought for Dibang Wildlife Sanctuary, the department could not have dedicated staff for the protection of Tigers. There are only around 4 to 5 frontline staff present in the entire sanctuary who are guarding such a vast area of 4149 sq.km under such a adverse high altitude terrain condition.

It may be recollected that during the year 2013-14, in the Dibang Wildlife Sanctuary for the purpose of assessment of Tiger population, a preliminary rapid survey was carried out by the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) in collaboration with the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), which confirmed the presence of Tiger population in Dibang Wildlife Sanctuary officially for the first time.

The study carried out by WII documented 11 tigers in an area of only around 336 km out of the total area of 4149 sq.km of the Sanctuary, under various logistical constrains (Terrain, Availability of Camera traps, etc). Further as the Sanctuary is spread over an area of 4149 sq.km, it was assumed that the Dibang Wildlife Sanctuary and adjoining landscape has hundreds of Tigers, which might be the largest Tiger population than any other Tiger Reserves (Tiger habitats) of India. After this study the Department of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Govt of Arunachal Pradesh has started the process of declaration of the Dibang Wildlife Sanctuary as Dibang Tiger Reserve in order to get the resources and technical assistance under the scheme Project Tiger.

Further, based on the study carried out by WII, the NTCA on 20th Meeting of NTCA Chaired by the Minister Environment, Forest and Climate change held on 9th April 2022 at Pakke Tiger Reserve, Arunachal Pradesh had accorded approval for declaration of Dibang Wildlife sanctuary as Dibang Tiger Reserve. Due to various reasons, the State Government yet to submit its final concurrence MoEF&CC for the final notification of Dibang Tiger Reserve, if declared it will be one of the unique and largest Tiger Reserve the country. The implementation of Project Tiger scheme will equip the Dibang Wildlife Sanctuary with all kind of infrastructure including manpower to prevent the Tiger and other wildlife poaching along with increased potential of Ecotourism and other benefits to the local community for the development of their sustainable livelihood.

However, the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) during the month of Dec. 2022, sanctioned 3 Company Batalion of Special Tiger Protection Force (STPF) to all the 3 existing Tiger Reserves of Arunachal (Pakke, Namdapha & Kamlang Tiger Reserves) with 112 personal. The approval of the State Government for the recruitment process is in progress for the same.

Informed Nyilyang Tam, Chief Wildlife Warden, Arunachal Pradesh in a release on Sunday.

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