Maoist fear haunts forest staff on tiger census job in Orissa

Amidst lurking fear of Maoist terror, officials of the forest department in Orissa have started entering the dense jungles to undertake tiger head count from tomorrow.

Updated: May 07, 2010, 21:42 PM IST

Bhubaneswar: Amidst lurking fear of Maoist
terror, officials of the forest department in Orissa have
started entering the dense jungles to undertake tiger head
count from tomorrow.

Yes, the fear of red rebels is very much in our mind.
But our dedicated staff have taken it as a challenge," field
director of Similipal Tiger Reserve (STR) H S Upadhyay told
PTI over phone today.

for the statewide tiger census, also admitted that the Maoist
fear could adversely affect the exercise.

Stating that the forest officials in small groups
would undertake the census by using pug mark method and camera
trap technique in core and outer area of the STR for three
days from tomorrow, Upadhyay asserted that they were hopeful
of peaceful completion of the exercise.

Though a small group of jawans belonging to the
state`s elite anti-naxalite force, Special Operation Group
(SOG), were deployed at Gugudia inside the Similipal National
Park, they worked under the command of the police department
and were not deployed for helping the tiger census, Upadhayay
said.

"We have asked the concerned divisional forest
officers (DFOs) to take help of local police where required,"
said S S Srivastava, the Chief Conservator of Forest,
(Wildlife).

PTI

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