Police on Tuesday found a freshly removed rhino horn in a car that met with an accident in which three of the four occupants were killed on Tuesday. “While a car met with an accident at Baihata Chariali early today (Tuesday) in which two persons died on the spot and one on the way to hospital, the police found a rhino horn, the butt of a gun and some substance suspected to be a drug. All the four occupants of the car are believed to have hailed from Manipur,” Kamrup SP Partha Sarathi Mahanta said.
The car was heading towards Guwahati when it collided with a bus about 20 km from Guwa-hati. Police and forest department officials suspect a rhino may have been killed around Kaziranga or Orang, both national parks. Police are also trying to track the owner of the car , the SP said. Assam forest minister Pramila Rani Brahma said the four persons travelling with the rhino horn could be members of an inter-state gang of poachers.
“Forest officials have already carried out a massive search inside the Kaziranga and the Orang national parks to find out if any rhino was killed in the past 24 hours but have not found any carcass till Tuesday afternoon,” the minister said. Officials who examined the horn said it lookedlike it belonged to a young adult rhino.