Jorhat, Jan. 6: The plan by a group of poachers, which was aiming to strike at Kaziranga National Park during Magh Bihu, was foiled with their arrest by park officials and Karbi Anglong police.
The plan was revealed by the gang of three poachers during interrogation by the Karbi Anglong police and park officials in the past two days. The gang, led by Ganesh Pegu, was arrested from the Simen Chapori area under Jonai police station in Dhemaji district last week. The two other poachers are Bimal Pegu and Latu Kutum.
Park director N.K. Vasu told The Telegraph this evening that a .303 rifle, which was buried at Deosuli village, in the fringe area of Kaziranga, by the group some days back was recovered today on the basis of information provided by the gang members.
Sources said the gang members told the police and park officials that they, along with few other persons (sharpshooters), who were expected to join them this week from Nagaland, would have attempted to kill as many as rhinos possible inside the park during the Magh Bihu celebrations, when people across the state have community feasts and enjoy themselves and nights wear a blanket of heavy fog.
Vasu said night patrolling during the festival would be intensified and more forces would be deployed to thwart any attempt by poachers to kill wildlife.
The director said a carcass of an old female rhino was found this morning by the park employees from a marshy area under Kohora range of the park. He said it died a natural death.
The director said remains of a rhino calf, believed to be eaten by a tiger, was also found from the Kohora area today.