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Poacher-forester nexus

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  6 May 2016 12:00 AM GMT

A disturbing pattern has begun to emerge in the arrests made by Jakhalabandha police of gaon over the last few days. Of the 11 rhino poachers bbed, six were found to be forest department personnel. Based on the confession made by three of the arrested forest personnel, the police maged to exhume the skeleton of a rhino killed and buried in the Burapahar range last November. Thanks to covert help from corrupt forest guards and rogue policemen, poachers have been virtually having a free run in Kaziranga. Their impudence of late has been such that during the height of security bandobast at Kaziranga tiol Park last month when British royal couple Prince William and Princess Kate Middleton came visiting, a rhino was gunned down. The recent arrest of a RPF jawan en route to Dimapur with a rhino horn has reportedly given more leads about the clandestine trade in animal parts in Myanmar and onward to Chi, where a rhino horn is valued upwards Rs 1.5 crore in Indian currency. The Assam government turned over the matter of rhino poaching to the CBI in 2014, but the Central agency has been making heavy weather of its investigations. Meanwhile, Dispur’s reluctance hitherto to act against errant policemen is a reminder that the poaching racket in Kaziranga will need action at the top before it is too late.

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