With poachers hunting down two more rhinos in the Kaziranga National Park,Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Monday decided to deploy extra contingent of Forest Protection Force armed with self loading rifles to the rhino habitat. This year itself 15 rhinos have been killed by poachers,and 13 of them are from Kaziranga.
Poachers have been repeatedly killing rhinos that fled the park and took shelter in the highlands of Kabri Anglong district that borders Kaziranga on the south. Eight of them were killed from inside the park.
Meanwhile,five persons were arrested by cops from Bokajan in Karbi Anglong based on reports that they had come to town to purchase rhino horns from a member of the Karbi People’s Liberation Tigers,an armed underground group.
We are ascertaining whether militant groups have joined the rhino poachers, said a police official. In at least three cases,poachers had chopped off the rhinos horn even before the animal was killed.
Meanwhile,the forest protection staff on Sunday recovered a .303 rifle from the jungle near the Sohola inside the national park. The rifle was left behind by one of the two poachers who managed to enter the park and killed a rhino on Saturday, a senior Park official said.