Maoist fear grips Orissa forests as staff boycott tiger census
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Last Updated: Saturday, May 08, 2010, 21:29
  
Bhubaneswar: With Maoist fear gripping jungles of Orissa, a section of forest officials Saturday boycotted tiger census at two different places including Sunabeda Wildlife Sanctuary.

"So far we have received information regarding officials not participating in the tiger census exercise at Sunabeda Wildlife Sanctuary and at Keonjhar forest disvision," Chief Wildlife Warden P N Padhi told a news agency.

The forest staff, who had earlier demanded security from the state government, refused to enter into the forests apprehdning attack by Maoists, an official said.

Sunabeda Wildlife Sanctuary, which houses 32 tigers according to a census conducted in 2004, witnessed killing of Sangram Swain, a forest guard, by Maoists last month.

"We demand firearms and security as provided to police personnel in Maoist-hit areas," the General Secretary of Orissa non-gazetted Forest Service Association J B Patnaik said.

Though they had served notice to the government about the association's plan to refrain from tiger census unless their grievances were addressed, no action had been taken, Patnaik alleged.

Both Sunabeda and Keonjhar forest divisions were identified as Maoist-hit.

PTI


First Published: Saturday, May 08, 2010, 21:29


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