Jorhat, Sept. 28: Police and Kaziranga National Park authorities today apprehended poacher Badan Saro from Hatikhuli Borbeel Mising village with the help of the villagers.
Badan had managed to give the police the slip on Wednesday when six of his accomplices were apprehended from near the national park. Two .303 rifles and a silencer were recovered from Badan.
A case (number 194/2013) under the Wildlife Protection Act and Arms Act, has been registered at Bokakhat police station.
A police official at Kohora police outpost (under Bokakhat police station) told The Telegraph that Badan was hiding in the forest in Karbi Anglong hills since Wednesday night after he got news of the arrest of his accomplices.
“It was hunger that forced him to come out of hiding early this morning. The villagers spotted him and informed us immediately. Subsequently, we picked him up,” the official said.
He said after Badan’s interrogation, two .303 rifles and a silencer were recovered from a ditch near his residence.
Badan confessed that the group was about to enter the national park on Wednesday to kill a rhino, which he had spotted grazing earlier in the day.
Kaziranga director N.K. Vasu said it was with the help of the villagers that the park authorities and the police managed to foil an attempt to kill rhinos and apprehend the entire gang of poachers.
“Our conservation efforts would not be successful without the help of the people residing on the fringes of the national park. We have been getting support from the villagers but there are a few elements who get involved in poaching to earn easy money,” he said.
The forest department, with the help of the police, had arrested six of Badan’s accomplices, identified as Dwipen Pegu, Apai Pegu, Paresh Pegu, Bhabesh Doley, Biswa Pegu and Ramrajya Kutum on Wednesday. While Ramrajya hails from Hatikhuli Borbeel Mising village near the national park, the five others hail from Gohpur in Sonitpur district.
The police official at Kohora outpost said it Badan and Ramrajya — the duo hail from the same village — who had planned to kill the rhino and informed their accomplices at Gohpur. “One of the poachers who came from Gohpur is a shooter,” the official said.
Kaziranga has witnessed the killing of 23 rhinos this year. The national park authorities have decided to install electronic eyes for surveillance inside the park. The device will enable park staff to track the movement of poachers and facilitate a quick response.