Assam opposition slams Gogoi over rhino poaching

Guwahati, Feb 4 (IANS) Poaching of rhinos in protected areas of Assam has reached an alarming proportion with suspected poachers continuing to kill them, an official said Monday.

While poachers killed a one-horned rhino in Kaziranga National Park last Saturday, forest officials Monday recovered another rhino carcass from Biswanath Chariali area in Sonitpur district.

"The rhino strayed out from Kaziranga National Park and poachers killed it. It was a male rhino and the horn was missing," park director N.K. Vasu told IANS.

According to official records, the state lost over 40 rhinos to poaching and floods in various protected areas last year.

Officials said that eight rhinos were killed by poachers this year in various protected areas of the state.

Vasu said that forest officials have been coordinating with officials at all territorial districts to prevent poaching.

About 900 forest officials, including personnel from the elite Assam Forest Protection Force, are on security duty in Kaziranga National Park.

Opposition parties like the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and the BJP have slammed Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, who Sunday hinted at a "political conspiracy" behind the recent spate in rhino killings in Assam.

The opposition parties termed Gogoi's statement as an effort to cover up the failure of State Forest Minister Rockybul Hussain.

While state BJP president Sarbananda Sonowal asked Gogoi to name the political party involved in the rhino killings, AGP leader and former chief minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta alleged that the chief minister had been protecting the forest minister by giving political colour to their failure to save rhinos.

Several students' groups - including the All Assam Students' Union (AASU) - blocked the national highway outside Kaziranga National Park Monday and burnt Hussain's effigy to protest the rhino killings.

--

Get stories like this on the Yahoo app and discover more every day.
Download it now.

Matches

    • Team flag for Sri Lanka vs. Team flag for PakistanPAKSL
      5th ODI
      Sun, Jul 26, 2015
      Hambantota, Sri Lanka
      Pakistan in Sri Lanka ODI ...
      SL won by 165 runs
    • Team flag for Netherlands vs. Team flag for ScotlandSCONED
      Final
      Match abandoned
      Sun, Jul 26, 2015
      Malahide, Dublin, Ireland
      World Twenty20 Qualifier, ...
    • Team flag for Hong Kong vs. Team flag for IrelandIREHK
      3rd Place Play-off
      Match abandoned
      Sun, Jul 26, 2015
      Malahide, Dublin, Ireland
      World Twenty20 Qualifier, ...
  • No live matches are in progress.
    • Team flag for England vs. Team flag for AustraliaAUSENG
      3rd Test
      Wed, Jul 29, 2015
      Birmingham, England
      The Ashes, 2015...
      Upcoming match
    • Team flag for Bangladesh vs. Team flag for South AfricaSABAN
      2nd Test
      Thu, Jul 30, 2015
      Mirpur, Bangladesh
      South Africa in Bangladesh...
      Upcoming match
    • Team flag for Sri Lanka vs. Team flag for PakistanPAKSL
      1st T20I
      Thu, Jul 30, 2015
      Thu, Jul 30, 2015
      Colombo, Sri Lanka
      Pakistan in Sri Lanka T20 ...