‘Myanmar based poachers are involved in the recent killings of rhinos at Kaziranga National Park’, disclosed Assam Forest Minister Atuwa Munda. ‘The Forest Department recovered empty cartridges of sophisticated weapons like M16 rifles from KNP,’ he informed, adding, ‘This proves that local poachers were not involved in these killings as they normally do not use such sophisticated weapons.’ Besides, the Forest Department has received specific information that an international racket is involved in poaching rhinos.
According to the report prepared by the rhino task force which was set up by the National Tiger Conservation Authority, rhino poaching is an organised crime involving national and international gangs who work in close coordination. ‘There is no denying that rhino poaching has international connotations and there are long chains crossing borders of many states and countries,’ the Minister shared, adding, ‘Action within the park can only partially eliminate the menace of poaching by killing poachers or seizing their arms, however, the higher level players in the crime do not get affected’.
‘This leaves the main organisers of the crime to still free and regroup, have new recruits, provide training get new arms and make another attempt at poaching. The efforts inside the park must, therefore, be supplemented with equally strong action outside the park’s boundaries,’ he asserted.
Munda further lauded the efforts of the 1,200 men guarding the national park spread over 800 square km on both banks of the Brahmaputra.