The Bahraich district of Uttar Pradesh will soon get a full-fledged police force to protect the Tiger population in the region, from poaching and smuggling activities. The district being close to the Nepal border is highly sensitive to illegal activities by anti-Indian elements from Nepal. The Katarniyaghat Tiger Reserve here, which is home to 54 Tigers and 32 Leopards along with other species of rare fauna, is spread in an area of 400 sq km and is a close target for smugglers and poachers coming from across the Nepal border.

The Katarniyaghat forest area, along with other wild animals. To protect these rare creatures, a special Tiger Police Force has been planned by the Shastra Seema Bal (SSB) which will have 150 armed security personnel, that will include ex-Army men and forest guards. The force is being trained to keep tight vigil in the region, to prevent poaching, timber smuggling and other illegal activities.

The security force is specially put on high alert during the monsoons (July-August), when poor weather conditions and water logging in the deep forests make it easier for the illegal activities to take place. Watch towers, search lights and close circuit cameras are also planned to be deployed to aid the security personnel in keeping an eye on their target.

The team will be fully armed with rifles and other equipments and put on vigil in the special zones, where most of the Tigers are to be found. The 40 beats and 28 special vigil zones of the forest cover will be carefully allotted to the security staff of the SSB, the forest department and local police force to spread out in the entire zone.

A few months ago, three people were arrested in this area for smuggling wild animal skin to Nepal. All the three had admitted that they were part of the smugglers' gang belonging to Nepal. They informed the police that they had been selling the smuggled animal skin, including that of Tigers, Leopards, Hyenas and other rare species of fauna, in Nepal, China, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh too. Such incidents had become common in the area, but the authorities hope that once the proposal is accepted by the Government, life will become easier for the endangered species.

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