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Assam loses year`s 16th one-horned rhino to poachers

The Pioneer
Guwahati
16 Dec 2016

Poachers have killed the year’s 16th one-horned rhino in Assam’s famous Kaziranga national park on Wednesday night and managed to decamp with its horn.

Park officials discovered the carcass of a male rhino in Burhapahar area of the park on Thursday morning during the routine patrolling. The horn was missing from the carcass, a senior park official said adding that the poachers probably killed the animal last night.

“We have also recovered some used bullets of AK 47 rifle from near the carcass. Normally the poachers use 303 rifles to kill the rhinos. However, recovery of AK ammunition indicates to involvement of militants outfits behind the killing,” the official said.

It may be mentioned here that involvement of militant cadres in rhino poaching is not new in Assam. The value of the rhino horns in international black market, particularly in South East Asian countries, has prompted different militant outfits in the region to either involve in poaching or pump in huge money for poaching and smuggling of rhino horns.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has been probing some of the cases of involvement of militants in rhino poaching in Kaziranga national park in 2012.

The menace of poaching of rhinos has been a major concern for the BJP led Assam Government that came to power in April 2016. The BJP led three party political alliance called North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), who is in power in Assam had fought the 2016 Legislative Assembly polls on the issues of rhino poaching besides others.

While the new government led by Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal had taken up several steps to stop the menace, poachers have been able to sneak into the protected areas like Kaziranga national park and other areas and kill the animals at regular intervals.

Sonowal had also taken up the matter of rhino poaching with his Nagaland counterpart recently and sought the help of Nagaland police as most of the rhino horns were smuggled out of the region through the neighbouring State.
http://www.dailypioneer.com/nation/assam-loses-years-16th-one-horned-rhino-to-poachers.html