Wildlife Service Awards (2013)
Keshav Kumar Joint Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation, Mumbai, Keshav Kumar was the police officer in charge of investigating the poaching of 10 Asiatic lions in early 2007 at the Gir National Park in Gujarat. Samir Sinha, the country head of TRAFFIC India, said at the time, “The tools of conventional forensic methods were used for the first time in wildlife crime in India and it is Kumar who deserves full credit for cracking the case.” Thirty-seven poachers from Madhya Pradesh, the highest number of people convicted in a wildlife crime case in India, were brought to justice. The forensic interface gave a new dimension to solving wildlife crimes in the state. At the time, Kumar, a 1986-batch IPS officer of the Gujarat cadre, had no knowledge about wildlife crime though he had 23 years of experience solving conventional crimes with orthodox police training.
One of India’s most respected police officers, his forte lies in the application of forensics and usage of new investigative techniques and tools in crime investigation. A lecture on ‘Convergence of Conventional Forensics and Wildlife Crime Investigation’ delivered by him to the Interpol’s Environmental Crime Division received near-perfect scores for relevance, presentation, and content. He has delivered a series of lectures at the National Police Academy, Gujarat High Court’s Judicial Academy, the Rajasthan Police Academy and the Directorate of Forensic Science and Laboratory, Gandhinagar. For his unstinting service to the nation he was presented with the President’s Police Medal for Distinguished Service on Independence Day, 2012. He was also responsible for the creation of the CID Wildlife Crime Cell and continues to be relied upon by state after state to help them unravel wildlife crimes. Without a doubt his strategic inputs will raise the conviction rate for wildlife crimes in the days ahead.
For this, we honour him.