IFP Bureau | IMPHAL
Manipur Forest and Environment Minister Thounaojam Shyamkumar on Thursday appealed to the state police and paramilitary forces to extend support to the forest department official in dealing with trafficking or smuggling-related issues as forest officials are unarmed.
Shyamkumar made the appeal during the inaugural function of the two-day workshop on Law Enforcement and Countering Wildlife Trafficking in the state of Manipur held at the Main Conference Hall, Forest Head Office, Sanjenthong.
The workshop was organised by Wildlife Wing, Forest Department in association with Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) India. It was held for the frontline field staff of Forests, Wildlife, Assam Rifles, Manipur Police and Paramilitary Forces working in Manipur.
Attending the function as chief guest, Shyamkumar said that officials of the forest department face lot of challenges in countering wildlife trafficking in the state due to inadequate manpower. Besides this, forest officials are being unarmed.
Despite having such problems, it is necessary to curb the issue of wildlife trafficking, he added while urging other forces working in the state to extend support to forest department officials in handling the issues.
Additional chief secretary, forest and environment, Suhel Akhtar said that smuggling of wildlife activities are still continuing in the state and stressed on the need for such kind of workshops in all the districts, including the divisional forest officer, police and paramilitary forces of the place. He also focused on the need of strengthening the legal action against those involving in wildlife trafficking.In the technical session held in the afternoon, Retired IFS, Government of Assam, DP Bankhwal, spoke on the topic ‘Role of paramilitary services in countering wildlife trafficking’; Conservation Biologist, Aditi Ranjan on the ‘Introduction to wildlife trafficking’; Field Biologist, Anirban Chaudhari on ‘Commonly trafficked wildlife animals and products’ and Retired IFS, MI Varghese on introduction to ‘Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972’ which was followed by question and answer session.
PCCF, K. Angami; PCCF (Wildlife) DJN Anand; officials of the Forest Department, scientists from Wildlife Institute of India (WII), and officials from Manipur Police, Assam Rifles also attended the inaugural function.