Sundarbans authorities step up surveillance

Sundarbans authorities step up surveillance

Statesman News Service

KOLKATA, Oct. 10: If things go as planned, a permanent camp of Sundarban Tiger Reserve authorities will come up in the Indo-Bangladesh riverine borders near the world’s largest mangrove forest to stop poachers.

The decision was taken up recently following reports that Bangladeshi goons are entering Sundarbans through Bagmara area, said a senior official of Sundarban Tiger Reserve. The camp will be set up at Bagmara in South 24-Parganas, said Mr NK Singhal, field director, Sundarban Tiger Reserve. “Due to adverse weather conditions, we were operating the camp for only six months in a year. Now surveillance would be kept in the area from the camp throughout the year. We hope the camp will come up within two months. It will help us to stop illegal entry into Sundarbans from Bangladesh,” Mr Singhal told The Statesman.

To launch a crackdown on poachers operating on the Indian side, the Sundarban Tiger Reserve authorities have also planned to set up more camps in the forest area jointly with the Border Security Force (BSF). Mr Singhal said the Sundarban Reserve Forest is currently operating a camp jointly with the BSF at Khatuadguri area to keep a close vigil at porous entry and exit points of Sundarbans.

Another official of the Sundarban Tiger Reserve said special patrolling teams have been set up to maintain a strong vigil in the forest area. Areas where people enter the mangrove forest are also being checked thoroughly. A full grown tiger was shot dead in Sundarbans early this week by a group of poachers who had entered the forest area from Jharkhali. Preliminary investigation conducted by Sundarban Tiger Reserve officials established that a group of people had entered Sundarbans from Jharkhali area for poaching deer. They spotted the tiger and fired a bullet at it.

The tiger was found floating in a river near Gosaba. We conducted a joint raid with police yesterday and nabbed three people ~ Babu Mondal, Amulya Samaddar and Nishi Haldar ~ in connection with the incident, Mr Singhal said, adding the case has been taken over by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) for further investigation. In order to ensure round the clock surveillance in the forest, the Sundarban Tiger Reserve authorities have already cancelled the Puja leave of its employees and asked them to join duty immediately.

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