Guwahati, March 14: Concerned over increasing incidents of poaching and killing of wild animals and smuggling of their parts, a citizens’ group that met here today demanded the setting up of an accountability commission for forest department personnel, similar to the one for police in Assam.
The meeting was organised by Nature’s Beckon, an NGO and Journalists Forum, Assam, in which more than 50 conservationists, NGO members and animal lovers took part.
The meeting demanded the Assam government to take steps to ensure a CBI inquiry into rhino poaching in the state, opening of a helpline number using which people can report incidents of attack on wild animals and poaching.
The meeting also decided to unite all NGOs and animal conservation groups across the Northeast for the protection of animals and put pressure on the respective state governments and agencies to prevent and check the smuggling of animal parts.
The meeting comes in the wake of increasing poaching in the state, particularly in Kaziranga National Park. This year alone, poachers have killed 11 rhinos as compared to 21 last year.
There has been a sudden spurt in incidents of poaching since the last quarter of 2011 leading to a hue and cry which prompted a hurried visit by Union forest and environment minister Jayanti Natrajan to the state.
Since then Dispur has initiated several administrative measures like restructuring the forest department hierarchy besides adding to the ranks of the forest guards, but the poachers always appear to be a step ahead.