Forest guards in Meghalaya could once again be issued arms to counter the menace posed by poachers, Forest and Environment Minister James K Sangma said today.
When militancy was at its peak in the state, especially in Garo Hills, the forest guards were disarmed because militants were known to target the guards for their weapons.
“Now we all know that Meghalaya is peaceful and we are looking at going back to arming our forest guards,” Sangma told reporters. “They can do their duties better. This proposal is being processed right now.”
Keeping a lid on the poaching and trafficking of animals, besides plant life, by criminals is a task that requires plenty of resources, such as manpower, which is limited.
“To go into each nook and corner is a very difficult task. But, nonetheless, we have an intelligence network that is gathering information from sources and we immediately act on tip-offs provided by them,” the minister said.
In April it was announced by Sangma’s office that an Assam Rifles jawan and nine others were arrested for smuggling pangolins and elephant tusks in two separate cases.