Three forest guards of Kaziranga National Park have been arrested along with a former guard of the park and four poachers in a rhino poaching case. During investigation on Monday, the police exhumed the skeleton of a rhino which was killed by the gang in November 2015 and buried near a forest guard camp in the park after taking away its horn.
“Three forest guards of the park have been arrested by the police in a rhino poaching case,” said Subhasish Das, divisional forest officer of the Kaziranga National Park. The arrested guards were temporary staffers of the park.
During regular checking of vehicles on NH–37 at Jakhalabandha in Nagaon district on Friday, the police recovered a rhino horn. After interrogating the person from whom it was recovered, they learnt that some forest guards of the park were involved in rhino poaching.
After the revelation, the police on Sunday arrested Keshab Gayan, Pintu Das and Tangkeswar Bordoloi--three forest guards of the park from Burapahar range. On Monday morning, they also arrested Kuddus Ali, a former guard of the park, and four poachers--Chorab Ali, Rafiq Ali, Ibrahim Ali and Saiful Ali. Kuddus Ali, the kingpin of the poaching racket, was relieved from his job in January.
Based on their confession, a rhino carcass was exhumed near Tunikati forest camp in Burapahar range of the park. The rhino was killed by the poachers’ gang with the help of the four forest guards.
Rhino poaching is a major problem in the Kaziranga National Park, which is home to about 2500 rhinoceros. In the last 10 years, the poaching menace has posed a major threat to the existence of the animal.
Another rhino killed
In the wee hours of Monday, an adult rhino was killed by poachers in Karati village--outside the sixth addition of the national park--in Biswanath Chariali district. The rhino’s horn was taken away by poachers.
This is the seventh rhino killed in the park in 2016.