The Assam Police on Wednesday announced cash rewards for persons providing information leading to the arrest of three alleged criminals involved in poaching of famed one-horned rhinos in Kaziranga National Park (KNP) and recovery of rhino horns.
Assam police has announced Rs 5 lakh reward will be given for the information leading to the recovery of poached Rhino horns. Further, Rs 2 lakh will be given for information leading to the arrest of each of the three identified poachers.
Special Director General of Police (law and order) and head of Anti-Rhino Poaching Task Force, GP Singh, posted on Twitter photograph of three persons, Abdul Matin, Ataur Rahman and Asmat Ali, who are allegedly involved in poaching of rhinos. The three are residents of Biswanath district in North Assam, which also covers a part of the 920-square kilometre national park.
As per officials of the Kaziranga National Park (KNP), the poachers are linked with the recent Rhino that was killed in January. The carcass of an adult female Rhino, suspected to have been killed by poachers, with its horn missing, was detected inside the Kohora range of the KNP.
Singh announced that cash of Rs 2 lakh would be given to anyone leading to the arrest of each of them while Rs 5 lakh would be offered to those helping in the recovery of rhino horns. The latest census of rhinos in 2018 found 2,413 rhinos in KNP, which is the highest in the world.
Last Sunday, PM Modi praised the efforts of the Assam government in the last seven years in its attempt to protect the rhinos. 37 Rhinos were poached in Assam in 2013, which has come down to just 2 and 1 in 2020 and 2021 respectively.
The step comes days after the carcass of a rhino was recovered inside the park with its horn missing (January 19). Forest department officials said the rhino was killed by poachers and its horn taken. Singh was rushed to KNP for steps to nab the poachers and enhance security measures in and around the park to stop rhino poaching. A team of commando forces has been deployed to help the forest guards and drones have been pressed into service for a vigil against poachers.
Rhinos in KNP have been a target for international poachers as there is huge demand for rhino horns in South East Asian nations, such as China and Vietnam, where the same is used in the preparation of traditional medicines. There is a belief that rhino horns contain medicinal properties, including aphrodisiacs, even as the same has been strongly rejected by researchers and scientists.