Guwahati: For the officials and staff of the Kaziranga National Park, the new year began on a sad note as poachers after succeeding in killing a rhino on Sunday, managed to escape unchallenged after sawing off its horn.
According to available information, the rhino was poached in the Burhapahar range of Kaziranga in wee hours of Sunday morning.
“The staff did hear the sound of gunshots from the Burhapahar range and before the forest guards could extensively comb the area and spot the carcass, the poachers had sawed rhino’ horn and escaped from the scene,” said an official.
Here it may be mentioned that on December 31, a rhino was killed in the Orang National park in Darrang district.
Sadly a home guard deployed to maintain vigil was also killed by the poachers during the poaching incident.
This incident took a strange twist when it came to light that a forest guard of the park was reportedly involved in this crime and he had allegedly killed the home guard with help of poachers.
In this connection, the park authorities have got a case registered against the forest guard.
Incidentally, Kaziranga which is a World Heritage Site, has gained the dubious distinction of frequent incidents of rhino poaching and in 2014 a total of 31 rhino were poached in Assam and out of that maximum cases were from the Kaziranga park.
Experts are of the firm view that to curb this menace, the Assam Forest Department will have to constitutes a Wildlife Crime Control Board, similar to that of Gujarat government.
In Gujarat, this system had paid rich dividend in terms of curbing the menace of poaching effectively. Under the Wildlife Crime Control Board, the services of the BSF and State Forensic Scientists are utilised for gathering better intelligence and also preparing foolproof cases against poachers if any to ensure that they do not escape prosecution once caught, said an official.