Forest Official Suspended, Governor Demands Action After Another Rhino Poached

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Another Rhino Poached In Kaziranga, Forest Official Suspended

A forest official was suspended after another one horned rhino was poached in Kaziranga National Park (KNP) on Friday, a weekago, at the same time that Assam forest minister Atuwa Munda was visiting the park.

Poachers killed the male rhino in the Ganarati Chapari area under Gahpur forest range office on Friday morning. They removed the horn and escaped from the park with it.

“Forest guards found the dehorned bullet-sprayed body of the rhino. Poachers had managed to flee from the site after chopping off its horn,” a forest official said.

Immediately on hearing about the rhino poaching incident, the forest minister suspended Pushadhar Burhagohain, the Gahpur forest range officer. The state forest minister said “I immediately suspended the Gahpur forest range officer Pushadhar Burhagohain and ordered an inquiry.”

The forest minister was visiting the national park to discuss how to prevent the rhino poaching incidents. He was attending a high level meeting with DC’s and SP’s of Golaghat, Nagaon and Karbi Anglong districts. The minister planned to visit the Char Chapari area of Biswanath on Saturday.

Nagaland Governor Takes Action

Nagaland Governor PB Acharya demanded that state forest department and Kaziranga National Park (KNP) authorities take immediate action to curb the rhino poaching incidents.

In a meeting with KNP Director MK Yadav, Governor Acharya instructed the forest official to present a comprehensive report of rhino poaching in the national park within 24 hours.

The Governor also called the state forest minister, Atuwa Munda, but the minister did not attend the meeting. Pointing to the state forest minister, the Governor said if he doesn’t work, he must quit.

The Governor had previously demanded that forest department and forest officials take immediate measures to stop rhino poaching incidents.

The Governor also alleged villagers near the National Park are also responsible for the poaching incidents.

“If the villagers do not cooperate and take steps to reduce poaching incidents, they would be vacated,” the Governor said.

Poachers have killed seven one horned rhinoceros including six in Kaziranga so far this year.

Hemanta Kumar Nath is a correspondent in Assam, India, who reports on local news in Assam, the north east Indian state.