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Rhino poaching: Kaziranga's forest officer transferred

February 06, 2013 18:51 IST

In the wake of a spurt in the killing of the one-horned rhinoceros in the famed Kaziranga National Park and other places in Assam, the state government has transferred the divisional forest officer of the park Dibyadhar Gogoi.

Gogoi has been transferred to the Guwahati wildlife division. S K Sil Sharma has been appointed as the new DFO of Kaziranga National Park, a UNESCO world heritage site.

Gogoi was appointed the DFO of the Kaziranga National Park on May 7, 2008 and since them 70 precious one-horned rhinos have been poached exposing his failure to control the menace. As per figures available, 16 rhinos were poached in the year 2008, 13 in 2009, nine in 2012, eight in 2011 and 26 in 2012. Eight rhinos have been killed in Kaziranga by poachers, so far this year.

According to the census last year, 2,000 one-horned rhinoceros dwell in the national park.

Meanwhile, the influential All Assam Students’ Union has launched a statewide agitation in protest against unabated poaching of rhinos in the state. The AASU had earlier demanded a CBI probe into the poaching of one-horned rhinos and the deployment of the army in the national park.

The state forest department has asked Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi to move the Union home ministry to expedite the process of allotment of AK-47 series of rifles to forest guards in Assam.

The Assam government views the frequency of poaching incidents as a result of a conspiracy of certain forces with vested interest. The alleged nexus of some insurgent elements with poachers would also be probed into. The Assam government has stated that any conspiracy to endanger wildlife will be dealt with firmly.

K Anurag in Guwahati