THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The state police and forest department are joining hands to effectively deal with wildlife crime cases. As part of this Wildlife Crime Control Units (WLCCUs) are being set up at police and forest departments. A high-level committee comprising home and forest secretaries has also been constituted to ensure effective coordination between the two enforcement agencies. The fresh steps are in accordance with a directive of the Centre, government sources said.
According to sources, the WLCCU in police department will function under the DGP (Crimes) and the WLCCU under forest department will be under the Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Intelligence). Two officials of the forest department would be posted on deputation at the WLCCU in the police department.
The WLCCUs will have statewide jurisdiction and should probe wildlife crime cases having wide ramifications, either jointly or by any unit after mutual discussions. Intelligence collection, establishing wildlife crime bank and ensuring coordination between forest and police investigation teams are also responsibilities of the WLCCUs.
The units will also act as a nodal agency for the Centre's wildlife crime control bureau and could also give suggestions to the government on decisions required for ensuring wildlife protection, said sources.