Kalpetta: In the wake of increasing attacks on forest staff, the Forest Protective Staff Association (KFPSA) has demanded the state government for legislation to empower them with powers to charge cases under Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) against wildlife violators and against those who attack forest staff.
The forest staff have been keeping off from the jungle zones of three forest ranges of the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary where hooligans attacked them with the support of politicians.
KFPSA Wayanad district secretary K. Beerankutty told DC that it is high time they should be empowered to use the CrPC procedures against them.
“The gangsters have repeatedly threatened many of our staff stationed in the interior camp houses in large numbers,” he said, adding most of those who gang up soon after some arrests are regular wildlife criminals who have been patronised by politicians.
However, the recent arrests of most of them have instilled some confidence among the employees.
In the forest ranges of Muthanga, Kurichiad, Chethalayam and Sulthan Bathery, they are working under constant threat. There are villages like Vakeri where forest officials fear to tread even when poachers roam free. The employees also submitted a memorandum to forest minister K. Raju and chief conservator of forests E. Pradeep Kumar.
Meanwhile, police had warned the forest officials against entering some villages bordering the jungle without their permission. Wildlife criminals are cashing in on the existing public ire in bordering areas against forest staff due to increased attacks from the wild.
Wayanad wildlife warden P. Dhanesh Kumar also submitted a report to the principal chief forest conservator (wildlife) and chief wildlife warden G. Harikumar on the threat by hooligans looming large over the forest field staff....