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Special Armed Force to shield Rhinos From Poachers

* Personnel to guard Kaziranga, Orang & Manas

STAFF REPORTER

GUWAHATI, July 11: The State Government has set up a special armed force to protect the pride of Assam ‘one-horned rhinoceros’ even as Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal today gave away appointment letters to 90 youth as constables at a function held at Assam Administrative Staff College here today. These youth will form the crux of ‘Special Rhino Protection Force’ (SRPF) that the State Government raised for the better protection of rhinos in Assam.

It is in view of dangers posed by poaching of rhinos that the Government of Assam has decided to raise the Force from the local youth hailing from the fringe areas of the Kaziranga National Park. The force would be exclusively used for Kaziranga National Park, Orang National Park and Manas National Park.

Addressing the gathering, Chief Minister Sonowal said, “Strengthening the forest protection mechanism by regular appointments and imparting technical training to employees is essential for sustainable management of forest and environment conservation. Recruitment of the 90 youth as constables through rigorous recruitment process will help in adding teeth to our efforts of rhino protection”. He further said, “Protecting rhinos along with other wild lives are our commitment and raising the Special Force is a step towards protecting our rhinos from the scourge of poaching”.

Sonowal also said that the newly recruited constables should maintain constant liaison with the higher-ups of the security mechanism of Kaziranga National Park to form a formidable team for the protection of wild lives. He said that the Government has devised a well laid-out mechanism for their training, using the latest technology to the appointees for their capacity building. Sonowal also urged them to develop a spirit of discipline, punctuality, dutifulness and commitment to take the protection measure altogether to a great height. He said that in recognition to their duty towards rhino protection, the personnel from the Special Rhino Protection Force would be given awards.

Speaking on the slew of measures that the State Government has put in place for protection of rhinos and other wild lives, Sonowal said that the Government has formed fast track courts to bring the perpetrators of wild life crime to justice. He also said that the newly raised Special Rhino Protection Force would be a new face of the State Government’s efforts towards protection of wild lives in the state especially rhinos. He at the same time assured all government assistance in empowering the Force to help them to live up to their mandate.

Minister of State for Environment and Forest Naba Kumar Doley while speaking on the occasion gave an overview of different measures that the Government has been taking for Kaziranga National Park and other national parks and wild life sanctuaries and reserve forests in the state. Principal Chief Conservator of Forests NK Basu also spoke on the occasion.
Legal Advisor to Chief Minister Santanu Bharali, MLA Rituporno Baruah, Additional Chief Secretary, Environment and Forest Alak Kumar and a host of other dignitaries were present on the occasion.