Bhubaneswar: The frontline staff of Similipal Tiger Reserve (STR) in Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district are now undergoing training to handle sophisticated firearms, including AK 47 and INSAS.
The frontline staff of Similipal are undergoing firearms training at the Firing Range of Mayurbhanj police at Khunta, said a source in the Forest department today.
“The frontline employees of Similipal are undergoing a rigorous training to handle modern and sophisticated weapons like AK 47, INSAS, PAG and 9 mm pistol as part of a strategy to check poaching in the tiger reserve,” said an official of the Forest department.
A few days ago, the wildlife wing of the Forest department had placed an order to procure as many as 1,550 sophisticated weapons to arm its field personnel, who often faces challenges from armed poachers.
The wildlife wing had placed an order to procure four types of weapons—9 mm automatic pistol, pistol, 5.56 mm Excalibur rifle and pump action gauge (PAG) gun—for its frontline employees.
The state government had decided to provide weapons to forest personnel after two staffers of Similipal were killed by poachers last year.