Forest officials alleged to be rhino poachers, carcass found in Laokhowa Wildlife Sanctuary

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Forest officials alleged to be rhino poachers, carcass found in Laokhowa Wildlife Sanctuary

G Plus News | June 25, 2019 20:21 hrs

GUWAHATI: Four forest officials in the state have been touted as poachers after the carcass of a rhino, which had presumably gone missing in November of last year, was dug out at Palashtoli camp under Laokhowa Wildlife Sanctuary on Monday, June 25, according to a news report by Northeast Now. 

It has been alleged that the rhino was killed, its horn chopped off and that forest officials might be involved in the killing of the animal. Following the incident, a massive investigation has begun. 

The news report stated that some officials in connection to the incident are being questioned intensively, but the department is still trying to pin the case on professional poachers. 

 

According to the report, some sources stated that IFS officer of 2011 batch Jitender Kumar, who was the then DFO of the Wildlife Division, Nagaon, has been under the scanner, but as the PCCF and the chief secretary of Assam are from the same state, top-level officials are lobbying to save Kumar. However, the current DFO of the Wildlife Division, Nagaon, Ranjith Ram is taking an initiative to do the right thing along with his team. 

An investigation team from Kaziranga National Park, armed with metal detectors, also went to the spot where the carcass was found and retrieved several parts of the animal’s remains. 

The report has alleged that forest officials, mainly from the Indian Forest Service (IFS) have kept the matter quiet and the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) also failed to pursue the case. 

It should be noted that the rhino, a female, had strayed out from Orang National Park and until September of last year, was under observation and spotted moving around the Laokhowa range close to the park. 

 

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Carcass of rhino (Image Credit: Northeast Now)

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