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   Home >> Library index >> Wildlife >> Centre plans to set up wildlife crime bureau 
 
Centre plans to set up wildlife crime bureau 

New Delhi: Concerned over increasing assaults on wildlife and forest wealth, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, as head of the National Board for Wildlife, has decided to set up a ‘wildlife crime bureau’ on the lines of the highly successful Narcotics Control Bureau. 
This was communicated to a Supreme Court bench comprising justices Y K Sabharwal, Arijit Pasayat and S H Kapadia by solicitor general G E Vahanvati even as the court directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to look into a recent case related to the seizure of 43 leopard skins in Delhi. 
The bench asked the CBI to ‘unravel the main persons behind the illegal trade in animal skins’ and submit a report on the April 6 seizure of animal skins within three months. The court observed that those caught are usually the carriers of the skins or the agents of the mastermind behind the illegal trade. This results in unabated poaching of animals, driving many of them to the edge of extinction. 
On the setting up of the wildlife crime bureau, Vahanvati said, “The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF) has taken proactive steps to stop poaching and a proposal for creating a ‘wildlife crime bureau’ on the lines of the narcotics bureau has already been approved by the National Board for Wildlife, headed by the prime minister.’’ 
The PM had recently asked the CBI to probe reports that there were no tigers in the Sariska National Park, a tiger reserve. The agency confirmed the reports. The court has issued a notice to the Centre on an application by environmentalist Ashok Kumar seeking similar probe into the affairs of all Project Tiger reserves. 
The affidavit filed by the MOEF said the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) would act as a ‘multi-agency unit with full-time officers from forest and wildlife departments, and various para-military forces. 
“The proposed national WCCB, with its headquarters at New Delhi and nine regional offices, shall require the creation of 260 new posts at various levels to ensure its operational efficacy and to meet the objectives set,’’ the ministry said. PTI 

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