Guwahati, Feb. 26: The recovery of a tattered mosquito net draped around a human skeleton inside Kaziranga National Park on Sunday has led forest guards and police to believe that a poacher had met with a grisly death a few months ago.
The incident has also reinforced their belief that poachers camp for their kill inside the park and do not sneak in and out as assumed earlier.
We are sure now that they stay put for some time and that is why they carry mosquito nets, a forest official said.
The skeleton was found in the Burapahar range of the park while forest guards were clearing a jungle road. Some cash was also found in the area.
This is the first time a human skeleton was recovered from inside Kaziranga.
The forest official said the skeleton was found inside a pit, half covered with leaves and twigs, leading forest officials to suspect that the poacher, covered with a mosquito net, was probably lying in wait to trap a rhino.
But neither the identity of the man nor how he met with his death was clear.
But there is every possibility that it was that of a poacher, said Suman Chakrabarty, sub-divisional police official of Kaliabor. What business would anybody have inside the park with a mosquito net? he asked.
The police officer said prima facie evidence suggests that the person died several months ago. He said forest guards and the police had an encounter with a group of poachers in the vicinity of the pit nearly three months back.
It could be that one of the poachers died in that encounter but we did not find the body then, he said.
Chakrabarty said the police are coordinating with the Kaziranga authorities in the fight against poachers. We have launched operations in remote villages located in the fringe areas of the park regularly, he said.
Echoing Chakraborty, sub-divisional police officer of Bokakhat in Golaghat district, Nobin Singh, said operations against poachers were on in full swing. We have recently constituted an intelligence-gathering network which has helped us apprehend several poachers, he said.