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HindustanTimes Fri,25 Apr 2014

Militants with AK rifles hunt down rhinos

Digambar Patowary, Hindustan Times  Guwahati, February 20, 2013
First Published: 00:26 IST(20/2/2013) | Last Updated: 00:28 IST(20/2/2013)

Militants have joined hands with poachers in Assam and AK-47 rifles are being used to hunt the rhino. Result: The Kaziranga National Park has lost nine rhinos since January, Manas National Park, one.

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The last incident took place at Kawoimari area inside Kaziranga on February 16. The horn of the dead rhino was chopped off.

“It has come to light that apart from poachers, some militant outfits were also involved in poaching of rhinos. In some cases, AK series rifles were used to kill the animal,” said Assam’s environment and forest minister Rockybul Hussain.

The state is already in touch with the Union home ministry, asking for AK rifles for the forest guards in Kaziranga.

Last year, Kaziranga lost 38 rhinos to poaching. Both Kaziranga and Manas are UNESCO world heritage sites.

Statewide protests have followed the spurt in poaching. The government now plans to create four new divisions in Kaziranga for better management of the park.

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