KAZIRANGA: Alleging that 160 rhinoceros have been killed in the Kaziranga National Park (KNP) during the three terms of Congress rule in Assam, on Saturday, a Union minister said that BJP would take all possible measures to protect the endangered animal.
"To save rhinos from extinction, the BJP has taken up a mission to protect them from poachers. To save the 'Pride of Assam' we will take all possible measures to stop it from extinction," Union sports minister Sarbananda Sonowal told reporters here.
Stating that lakhs of tourists across the world came to see the rhinos at Kaziranga, he alleged that the Tarun Gogoi-led Congress government had failed to protect them.
"During the three terms of Tarun Gogoi government and forest minister Rockybul Hussain's tenure, 160 rhinos have been killed so far. But instead of protecting them, they seem to have taken up a mission for rhinos to be killed by poachers," he alleged.
"Whatever measures need to be undertaken will be adopted for protecting the rhinos and KNP. We will take advice from international experts on protection of rhinos," Sonowal said.
"Africa has taken measures to protect rhinos, but the Assam government has done nothing. Taking advantage of the weak and ineffective Congress government, poachers are killing rhinos," he claimed.
To a question, the minister said, "Any government employee or minister linked to the poaching of rhinos in KNP will not be spared."
He appealed to the local people to remain alert against rhino poachers and urged them to also identify illegal migrants settled on the fringes of the park.
On work to be undertaken by his ministry, Sonowal said that sports would be popularized in villages and facilities will be given to promising talent to participate in international sports events.