Assam Rhinos to be guarded with DRDO’s Assault Rifles


  • Assam Rhinos to be guarded with DRDO’s Assault Rifles
12-02-2018 | Pratidin Bureau. |

The Assam Forest Department is all set to become the first non-police or non-paramilitary force to acquire the Ghatak, a multi-calibre rifle from the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). The rifle is described as a cross between an automatic close-combat weapon, such as the AK-47, and a more lethal long-range firearm. The DRDO placed orders for the weapon more than a year ago.

 

 

A Veteran officer says, “We did our best to save the rhinos during our time, but the poachers are always a step ahead. It is high time our guards are equipped with weapons that deter poachers.” The Kaziranga National Park havens more than 55% of the world’s one-horned rhinos and boasts of a high density of Royal Bengal tigers.

Forest department records say 30 rhinos have been killed in Kaziranga and other wildlife reserves, such as the Orang National Park and the Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary, since January 2016. Cartridges recovered from rhino kill sites revealed that the poachers were using AK-56 rifles, besides M16 and M4 carbines.

 

“The killing of a couple of rhinos last year made us realise that the archaic, single-shot bolt action rifles of our guards are no match for the sophisticated automatic weapons of the poachers. A decision was taken to overhaul the arsenal of our department,” Environment and Forest Minister Pramila Rani Brahma said.

The indigenous hybrid rifle, Ghatak which means ‘deadly,’ is expected to protect the one horned rhinos in Assam from heavily armed poachers.

Tags : Assam Rhinos DRDO The Kaziranga National Park Assam News


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