Assam workshop highlights DNA tech's role in wildlife crime investigation

The importance of wildlife crime investigation using biological evidence and DNA technology was highlighted during a workshop held in Haflong on Wednesday. It was organised by biodiversity conservation group Aaranyak in collaboration with the Dima Hasao Forest Department.

The workshop, attended by forest officials, focused on legal orientation and wildlife forensics.

Ajoy Kumar Das, a Senior Law Consultant, discussed recent amendments to the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972, emphasising categorisation of species in new schedules and the handling of exotic species under Chapter V-B. He also elaborated on punishments in Section 51 and changes since the 2022 amendment.

Udayan Borthakur, a senior scientist, stressed the significance of biological evidence and DNA technology in establishing crimes in court. He explained various DNA-based tools and proper sample collection techniques.

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Advocate Ajoy Kumar Das discussed the preparation of documents in wildlife crime investigation, highlighting how scientific evidence aids convictions. He emphasised using complaint petitions instead of charge sheets.

DFO Tuhin Langthasa emphasised the need for a deep understanding of legal provisions and DNA sample collection processes to ensure effective convictions. The programme concluded with a vote of thanks, highlighting the collaborative efforts that made it successful.

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