A gang of poachers has been arrested by the Crime Investigation Range of the Forest department in Biswanath district in Assam. The poachers were planning to kill a one-horned rhino in Kaziranga National Park.
Acting on a tip-off, a joint team of Crime Investigation Range of Forest department, police launched an operation at Behali area in Biswanath district on Monday (August 1) and apprehended four poachers including an ex-National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB) cadre.
The arrested poachers were identified as Ajit Das, Padum Hazarika alias Dhandu, Dhanidev Saikia and Dipankar Boro.
Jatindra Mohan Das, Officer of Crime Investigation Range in Biswanath district said that they planned to kill a rhino, a ANI report said.
"We received information that a gang led by a person Ajit Das had been planning to kill a rhino in Kaziranga National Park and based on that input we have launched an operation and arrested the gang. Ajit Das is hailing from Rangsali village under Behali police station. Other members of the gang have been identified as Padum Hazarika alias Dhandu, Dhanidev Saikia and Dipankar Boro. The entire family of Dhanidev was involved in poaching activities. Dipankar Boro is an ex-NDFB cadre," Jatindra Mohan Das said.
Notably, the park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to two-thirds of the world's population of the species.
A census program is conducted by the state forest department at every three years of interval.
According to the census held in March 2018 which was jointly conducted by the Forest Department of the Government of Assam and some recognized wildlife NGOs, the rhino population in Kaziranga National Park is 2,413.
In September last year, nearly 2,500 rhino horns, which officials say was the world's largest such stockpile, were burnt and destroyed in Assam's Bokakhat to mark World Rhino Day and discourage the myths that have propelled poaching of the endangered pachyderms.