Sumir Karmakar, The Deccan Herald
Police in Assam on Tuesday claimed to have foiled rhino poaching bid in the flooded Kaziranga National Park by arresting eight armed men in neighbouring Karbi Anglong district.
The state police said the eight suspected poachers were arrested during an operation under Rongmongwe police station and four 12 bore rifles and ammunition were seized from them.
The eight have been identified as Eptarul Ishlam, Abdul Khalek, Jersong Teron, Krishna Bhumij, Amor Teron, Bijoy Teron, Uttam Singner and Kanplong Terrang. They are aged between 20 to 28 years.
The arrest comes when 55% of Kaziranga National Park (KNP), the habitat of largest number of one-horned rhinos in the world are under flood water. As rhinos in Kaziranga rush to highlands to avoid floods almost every year, poachers take this advantage and kill the rhinos and take away their horns for international gang of wildlife parts smugglers.
According to a flood bulletin issued by KNP authorities on Tuesday morning, at least 14 of 233 forest camps remained inundated while three had to be vacated due to flood water inside the park’s core area.
At least 39 animals, mostly hog deer has died while 47 others have been rescued so far during the current flood. However, no rhino poaching has been reported so far in the 434-sqkm national park. Police said the eight has been booked under sections of Wildlife Protection Act and Arms Act.