In a shocking revelation, a former Assam minister’s name has come up in connection to rhino poaching. The name of Nurzamal Ahmed, who was the irrigation minister in the Tarun Gogoi government came up when his Personal Security Officer (PSO) Azhar Ali was arrested. Ali’s name was revealed by two poachers who were arrested earlier this week. Ahmed however denied any involvement into the matter.
Poacher’s connection with PSO
The two poachers — Makbul Ali and Nurkashim – were arrested from a hideout in Chennai. They were wanted in connection with poaching of a female rhino and her calf at the Kaziranga Park on August 3.
The killing of this female rhino and her calf at Kaziranga led to an outrage across Assam and prompted the BJP government led by Sarbananda Sonowal to crackdown on poachers.
The poachers after interrogation have revealed that the killings were ordered by an aide of the former Irrigation minister in the Tarun Gogoi government.
Minister cries foul
But the minister said that he has been framed. ‘I have not heard my name being taken,’ Sarkar said, adding, ‘I am asking the administration to go for a CBI inquiry.’
The BJP had made poaching of rhinos a huge political cry during the 2016 assembly elections campaign. They had alleged that the Congress government was soft on poachers because of their leaders being involved. The latest controversy has given the BJP fresh ammunition to attack the Congress.
‘How can he say that he was not involved with these poaching activities? The two poachers told me that the minister’s men had ordered them to do all these thing,’ said Pramila Rani Bramha, Assam’s forest minister.
She said that the former minister may not be directly involved, ‘but his people, his nephew, and his PSO are involved.’