By R Dutta Choudhury
Deer poaching in the Manas National Park has become a serious cause of concern and the Government should institute a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into it, demanded the Deputy Chief Executive Member of the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC), Khampa Borgoyari. Meanwhile, Forest Minister Rockybul Hussain said that if the BTC sends a formal proposal in this regard, the Government would give due consideration to it. Talking to The Assam Tribune, Borgoyari said that the Government has instituted a CBI probe into rhino poaching in the Kaziranga National Park, but poaching has become a major problem all over the state including in the Manas National Park. He said that deer poaching in Manas is a major cause of concern and there were three cases of poaching of rhinos in the Park in last three years. He said that killing of any wild animal is a cause of concern and all possible steps should be taken to check the menace.
The BTC deputy chief pointed out that protection of wild life is not brought under the BTC, but over the years, the BTC authorities tried their best to motivate the people about the need for protecting wild animals and even a team of persons who used to be poachers at one point of time, was formed to protect animals in Manas.
Borgoyari pointed out that deer meat from Manas is sent to the towns and there are reasons to believe that it is also sent to Guwahati city. Deer meat can be consumed only by moneyed people because of its high price and the poachers take it directly to the buyers as the it cannot be sold in the markets. A probe by the CBI can unearth the whole chain of people right from the poachers, sellers and buyers to check poaching of deer, he said. Even if only the buyers are brought to book, the poaching will come down as there will be no demand for deer meat, he said.
Meanwhile, when contacted, Forest Minister Rockybul Hussain said that if the BTC authorities give a formal proposal to the Government for instituting a probe by the CBI into the incidents of poaching in Manas, the Government would give due consideration to it. He said that if he receives a proposal from the BTC, he would immediately take up the matter with the Chief Minister.