As many as 15 Anti-Depredation Squads of Assam’s forest department, which would be stationed in 15 major human-wildlife conflict districts in order to mitigate the problem and to ensure safety of both humans and wildlife, were launched by chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal on December 5.

The forest department is engaging specially trained 50 frontline staff to handle conflict situations and 100 more staff will be trained in the coming days.

The anti-depredation squads are equipped with all logistics required for mitigating the conflict.

Currently, 150 numbers of 12 bore pump action guns and 15,000 rounds of rubber bullet ammunition will be at the disposal of the squads.

Speaking at the programme, Sonowal said loss of lives of both humans and animals is unwarranted and the squads must spread awareness about avoiding man animal conflicts.

Peaceful coexistence is must for man and animals and squads would be a great addition to forest department in order to reduce casualties in conflict situations.

He emphasised on the need to bring the casualties to zero by completely reducing man animal conflict situations and urged the people of the state to cooperate with squads in spreading awareness about animal behaviour.

The chief minister also distributed weapons and equipment to the squads at the programme.

State forest minister Parimal Suklabaidya also spoke at the programme, which was attended by water resource minister Keshab Mahanta among others.

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