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CM orders probe into rhino killings

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  16 April 2016 12:00 AM GMT

By Our Staff Reporter

Guwahati, April 15: Embarrassed after poachers killed a rhino during the visit of British royal couple Prince William and Kate Middleton to Kaziranga tiol Park, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today asked Additiol Chief Secretary TY Das to probe into the killing of two one-horned rhinos in the Unesco World Heritage site recently and to submit a report to him immediately.

Expressing serious concern over the rhino killings in the past few days, the Chief Minister asked the Additiol Chief Secretary to go into details of the circumstances leading to the killing of two rhinoceros and to fix up responsibility on the part of those responsible for protecting rhinos, an official release said.

Terming the killings as 'very unfortute', Gogoi asked the special task force constituted to curb poaching to intensify operations against poachers and their accomplices and to evolve strategies to tackle rhino poaching by holding discussions with various students', social and community organisations and NGOs involved in wildlife protection.

The State government had two years back formed a fact-finding headed by an additiol chief secretary to probe the rhino killings and suggest measures to stop it. The committee had submitted a report to the government, but it is not known if the recommendations were implemented.

Making a mockery of the so-called tight security arrangements, poachers had killed yet another one-horned rhino in the Unesco World Heritage Site as British royal couple Prince William and Kate Middleton were spending the night at a nearby resort.

The carcass was found at the Burhapahar range of the park on Thursday morning. The poachers took away the horn.

"There were about five poachers in the group on Wednesday night. Our guards heard gunshots from the range and launched an operation immediately," an official said.

"The group of poachers fired and our guards retaliated. However, they maged to cut off the horn and flee," he said.

This was the seventh rhino killed in the tiol park this year.

The incident took place while the British royal couple was spending their second night at the Difflo River lodge, adjacent to the tiol park.

The Assam government had issued strict instructions to the park authorities to ensure that no untoward incident takes place during their stay.

On Wednesday morning, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had visited the Bagori range of the park, 30 km from the Burhapahar range.

They later interacted with forest guards on anti-poaching measures.

The royal couple left for Bhutan on Thursday morning.

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