By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, May 4: Anguished at the ubated killing of rhinos in the State, particularly in Kaziranga tiol Park, the All Assam Students Union (AASU) today asked Prime Minister rendra Modi to take effective steps to check the mece which is not only a "socio-environmental issue but also a heritage issue".
"The famous one-horned rhino is going to be extinct if such poaching is not resisted. Unfortutely no serious, effective, scientific steps have been taken by any government to stop this poaching of one-horned rhinos," the AASU wrote in a letter to the PM, also citing reports of nexus between a section of forest guards and poachers.
The students' body said the one-horned rhino is not only a species of importance to civilization, but also a symbol of heritage and identity.
"Rhinos are killed to extract the horn and other body parts, which carry a lucrative intertiol value, due to buyers' beliefs. The one-horned rhino is surviving only in the north-east corner of India and Assam accounts for 95 percent of the total wild one-horned rhinos of the entire world," it said.
According to AASU president Dipanka Kumar th and general secretary Lurinjyoti Gogoi, more than 120 rhinos were poached during the last 10 years, and as per government statistics, during last three years as many as 71 rhinos were killed. In a press release, the AASU leaders said after the BJP came to power at the Centre, Union Forest minister Prakash Javadekar had assured during a meeting with various groups in Guwahati that special measures will be taken to check the problem. "But nothing has happened on the ground so far," they said.
The AASU leaders also insisted that to protect the tiol park, the government will first have to evict all illegal migrants who have settled in and around the Unesco World Heritage Site.