| The poachers who were arrested in Karbi Anglong on Tuesday and the arms that were recovered from them. Picture by UB Photos |
Jorhat, Oct. 30: Karbi Anglong police last night recovered the .303 rifle used in the shooting of a rhino at Agoratoli range of Kaziranga National Park recently.
Another rhino carcass was recovered from the park this morning. Park officials claimed the rhino died of natural causes and its horn had been recovered.
The weapon was recovered from the house of poacher Gonesh Doley at Dhansirikumh village under Bokakhat police station. Doley was arrested a few days back by the police, which launched a massive operation against poachers recently.
“Doley confessed to killing the rhino at Agoratoli range and said he was in possession of the rifle used to shoot the animal. Last night we took him to his house and recovered the weapon,” a police official at Diphu police station in Karbi Anglong said.
The police also recovered a pistol and ammunition from the poacher’s house. Based on Doley’s confession, the police also apprehended one Chandra Doley from the same village.
Karbi Anglong police have achieved several successes recently against poachers with the arrest of at least 20 persons involved in rhino horn smuggling. A week back, five poachers who were allegedly involved in the killing of two rhinos which strayed out of the park to the adjacent Karbi Anglong hills, were picked up from different areas of the district.
Lindok Rongpi, who is involved in the killing of at least six rhinos, including the two rhinos killed at Karbi Anglong, was among those arrested.
“The latest arrests were made following the interrogation of Lindok and other poachers involved in rhino killings. We are trying to arrest everyone involved in the rhino horn trade. We are also in touch with our Nagaland counterparts where most of the horns are sold,” the official said.
A Kaziranga official said the park authorities have been taking necessary steps to check rhino poaching. “We have intensified patrolling and are in constant touch with the villagers located in the fringe areas. It would not be easy to curb poaching unless the villagers help us,” the park official said.
He said it is not possible for poachers to kill rhinos inside the park without the help of local residents. “A few villagers provide information to poachers regarding the movement of rhinos in return for money. Some villagers also provide logistical support to them. So our aim is to win the confidence of the villagers so that they do not indulge or help in poaching,” the official said. The national park has witnessed the death of more than 15 rhinos in the hands of poachers this year.