Rhino poaching in Kaziranga
Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, March 19: Unmoved by critical remarks from Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, a firm Governor PB Acharya today summoned the State’s Director General of Police Khagen Sarma and directed him to build a strong first line of defence to protect rhinos in Kaziranga tiol Park.
Calling for an “effective mechanism” to deal with the killing of rhinos, the Governor told the DGP that the first line of defence should be built by utilizing the support and cooperation of inhabitants of the villages through which the poachers carry on their dastardly slayings.
The Governor even stated that if rhino killings persist after implementation of the measures, actions like imposition of deterrent fines on the communities of those areas will have to be initiated.
“The Governor is greatly disturbed and deeply hurt at the continuous killing of rhinos despite his relentless efforts and stern appeals,” a Raj Bhavan communiqué stated.
The move by the Governor follows the recent war of words between him and Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi over the poaching mece.
“The protection of rhinos is the responsibility of the people of Assam. It is the pride of the state. Petty crimils challenging the government of Assam will not be tolerated. I cannot accept the fact that rhino killings are going on ubated,” the Governor had said recently.
The Assam Governor, who has been continuously expressing his concern over the killing of the animals, had also said that if those responsible for protection of the heritage animal are not up to the mark, they would do well to quit gracefully.
The Governor had recently called a meeting with the Forest minister and security personnel to review the situation. The Forest minister, however, did not turn up for the meeting. Later, the Governor had directed the Director of the Kaziranga tiol Park to submit a report as to what is lacking in the security of the park.
Chief Minister Gogoi, in response, had said that the Governor should remain within his limits.
"There are some limits for everyone and one should not go beyond his limit," Gogoi had said in response to the Governor’s jibe at the State government.
Seven rhinos have been killed in the Unesco World Heritage Site this year. Two others, which strayed out of the park, were also killed by poachers this year.
Altogether 74 rhinos have been killed in the tiol park since 2011.
According to official figures, 27 rhinos were killed by poachers last year.