In the first ever video conference with the district-level Police and Forest officials, Director General of Police M. Mahender Reddy called for more active role by officials with regard to forest encroachments.

He issued instructions to cops right up to the station house officers across the State to show a sense of urgency whenever attempts are reported about encroachment of forests, felling of trees for smuggling or poaching of wild animals. He called for regular meetings among Forest, Police and Revenue officials. He asked SPs to include forest protection as an agenda item in their monthly crime review meetings.

Village-level community outreach programmes by the police in more sensitive areas will bring about more awareness among public towards forest conservation, he said.

Mr. Reddy asked the police officials to use the Google images of the encroached area and exhorted officials to use intelligence network to identify kingpins of encroachment, smuggling of forest produce and poaching of wild animals and book them under PD Act.

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