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A two-day training on Wildlife/Forest Law Enforcement and combating Wildlife trafficking for Forest and Police Officials was held under Sivasagar Division (Territorial), Sivasagar of eastern Assam.

The training was held in collaboration with Wildlife Conservation Society-India (WCS-India) and Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) on Tuesday and Wdnesday in the Sukafa Conference Hall of the office of the deputy commissioner, Sivasagar.

It included with interactive lectures on the first day and field simulation exercise creating crime scene and hands on exercise viz; search, seizure and drafting of Wildlife Offence Report.

The objective of the two-day workshop was to enable enforcement of the legal provisions of theWildlife Protection Act-1972 and the Assam Forest Regulation Act-1891 amended till date.

The two districts of Sivasagar and Charaideo, which fall under the jurisdiction of Sivasagar Forest Division records incidences of poisoning, lynching of Schedule-I species of Wildlife in the past and recent times.

This two-day workshop is an initiative of Sivasagar Forest Division towards creating legal education on the procedures to be followed during booking of offences and enabling good conviction rates in the future.

It is a fact that stringent legal action by law enforcement agencies always serve as a deterrent to future commission of any kind of offence.

The trainees include Forest officials of the rank of Assistant Conservator of Forests, Range Officer, Forester-I, Forest Guard from Sivasagar and Charaideo districts covering three Ranges viz; Sivasagar Range, Sonari Range and Borhat Range including Bihubor Beat.

There were 10 trainees from the Sivasagar District Police in the rank of deputy superintendent of police and sub inspectors.

The resource persons having legal expertise in the field of combating Forest related offence were M I Varghese Retd IFS, Kerala and K K Sharma, additional director, WCCB Eastern Region in combating Wildlife Crime and Wildlife Trafficking amongst others.

In the inaugural session, Jayashree Naiding IFS, DFO (Territorial), Sivasagar Division briefed the trainees about the objective of the workshop and gave a brief status of the forests and wildlife crimes pertaining to the two districts.

She also stressed that Assam has the most stringent provisions as far as wildlife crime is concerned through The Wildlife Protection Act 1972 (Assam Amendment) Act 2009 which has provided maximum permissible fine as Rs 75,000 and maximum imprisonment of life imprisonment as per the amended section-51 and also as per the inserted section 51B, every offence under the WPA shall be cognizable, non-bailable and triable in Sessions.

She requested the trainees to apply the learnings from the training programme in the discharge of their field duties.

Dr Lakshmamnan S, IAS, deputy commissioner of Sivasagar stressed on the need of creating awareness on various issues related to wildlife crimes and trafickking and also emphasized on the importance of the collaborative efforts of the various departments and law enforcement agencies in combating wildlife trafficking.

Bolin Deori, APS, DSP Sivasagar also emphasized on the understanding of the provisions of the relevant sections of the Acts and need for coordination among Police and Forest officials for matters related to Forest and Wildlife Crimes.

After the conclusion of the two-day long workshop, deputy commissioner of Sivasagar Dr S Lakshmanan and divisional forest officer Jayashree Naiding addressed a joint press conference in Sukafa Conference Hall of DC’s office, Sivasagar. The DFO apprised the media persons in detail about the objective of the workshops and the existing stringent law for wildlife protection.

The deputy commissioner stated that media has a very vital role to play in generating awareness against wildlife trafficking as well as in case of sharing vital information of any violation thereby facilitating the arrest of the perpetrators.

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