Guwahati, Feb 9 (IANS) The unabated killings of rhinos has forced the Assam government to divide Kaziranga National Park into four new divisions, Assam Forest Minister Rockybul Hussain said Saturday.
"The park will be divided into east, west, north and ecosystem zones. The Burhapahar and Bagori range of the park will form the west division. The extension of the park on the north bank and Biswanath Chariali will come under the north division while the Kohora and Agaratoli range will fall under the east division," Hussain said.
"Besides, there will be an ecosystem zone in the park as per the proposed division," Hussain added.
"This will help us improve the existing security arrangements in the park," said the minister.
"We have also approached the home ministry to allow our officials to use sophisticated firearms like the AK-47 and AK-56 assault rifles to counter poachers," said Hussain.
The decision assumes significance considering the recent spate in rhino killing in Assam. Eight rhinos have been killed in various protected areas of Assam and their adjoining areas since January this year.
While 30 rhinos died due to three waves of floods in the state last year, over 12 rhinos were killed by poachers.