Orissa wants CRPF batallion to guard Similipal Tiger Reserve
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
New Delhi (PTI): With majority of forest guards refusing to join duty at the Similipal Tiger Reserve in the wake of an attack by Naxalites, Orissa has sought deployment of a CRPF battalion for the protection of the park which is home to around 32 striped cats besides other felines.
The State is facing acute infrastructural problem in the tiger reserve in Mayurbhanj district following the attack on offices of State forest department and vital police communication installation there on March 23.
"Most of the staff posted in the core area inside the tiger reserve have left their headquarters, causing deep concern about protection of forest and wildlife," State Chief Secretary A K Tripathy said in a letter to the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA).
He further said since the Special Task Protection Force (STPF), as envisaged by the Home Minister, was yet to be constituted, a CRPF battalion should be immediately considered to keep poachers at bay.
"In case it takes time to create the STPF, a CRPF battalion can be deployed as an interim measure given that additional force is required in view of the recent attacks and prevailing tense situation," Mr. Tripathy said.
Though there are no reports of poaching of tigers, there are fears that the criminals might connive with the Naxalites for anti-wildlife activities.