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97 rhino poaching cases registered, no conviction

By Staff Reporter
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GUWAHATI, March 31 � Since January 2009, 97 cases of rhino poaching were registered with the police in the districts of Nagaon, Golaghat, Karbi Anglong and Sonitpur. Ten of those cases have so far been disposed of. But, significantly, nobody has been convicted so far in any of these cases.

It needs mention here that the Kaziranga National Park (KNP) comprises the areas belonging to the districts of Nagaon, Golaghat and Sonitpur and the district of Karbi Anglong is contiguous to it.

According to the information provided by the district administrations of Nagaon, Golaghat, Karbi Anglong and Sonitpur to RTI-cum environment activist Rohit Choudhury, in reply to his queries, it is also learnt that altogether 247 persons were either accused or arrested in connection with the above cases.

According to the information provided by the district administrations of these districts to Choudhury, 29 cases were registered in Golaghat in connection with rhino poaching. An equal number of persons were either accused or arrested in connection with these cases. Ten of these cases have been disposed of so far. None has been convicted in any of

these cases.

In Karbi Anglong district, 15 cases were registered in connection with rhino poaching and 84 persons were either accused or arrested in connection with these cases. None of the cases has so far been disposed of.

In Sonitpur district, 18 cases were registered in connection with rhino poaching and 54 persons were either accused or arrested in connection with these cases. None of the cases has so far been disposed of.

In Nagaon district, 35 cases were registered in connection with rhino poaching and 80 persons were either accused or arrested in connection with these cases. None of the cases has so far been disposed of.

The district administrations of these districts also informed Choudhury that the arms and weapons recovered from the accused persons in these cases include AK 56 rifles, AK 47 rifles, 303 rifles, sten guns, SBLM guns. The recovered ammunition included cases of INSAS and SLR guns, pistols (including the 7.65 mm pistol made in Spain) and other live ammunition.

Again, in KNP, 52 cases were registered in connection with rhino poaching between 2009 and 2013, while in the Orang National Park 32 cases were registered in this connection, nine cases were registered in Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary in connection with rhino poaching during the said period. But, the Manas National Park and Tiger Reserve authorities failed to respond to his queries in this connection,

Choudhury said.

Choudhury called for steps to impart proper training to the police officials of the above districts on the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 of the above four districts. Moreover, there should be a coordination among the judiciary, and the departments of police and forest for evolving a mechanism for speedy disposal of the cases connected with wildlife crime.

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97 rhino poaching cases registered, no conviction

GUWAHATI, March 31 � Since January 2009, 97 cases of rhino poaching were registered with the police in the districts of Nagaon, Golaghat, Karbi Anglong and Sonitpur. Ten of those cases have so far been disposed of. But, significantly, nobody has been convicted so far in any of these cases.

It needs mention here that the Kaziranga National Park (KNP) comprises the areas belonging to the districts of Nagaon, Golaghat and Sonitpur and the district of Karbi Anglong is contiguous to it.

According to the information provided by the district administrations of Nagaon, Golaghat, Karbi Anglong and Sonitpur to RTI-cum environment activist Rohit Choudhury, in reply to his queries, it is also learnt that altogether 247 persons were either accused or arrested in connection with the above cases.

According to the information provided by the district administrations of these districts to Choudhury, 29 cases were registered in Golaghat in connection with rhino poaching. An equal number of persons were either accused or arrested in connection with these cases. Ten of these cases have been disposed of so far. None has been convicted in any of

these cases.

In Karbi Anglong district, 15 cases were registered in connection with rhino poaching and 84 persons were either accused or arrested in connection with these cases. None of the cases has so far been disposed of.

In Sonitpur district, 18 cases were registered in connection with rhino poaching and 54 persons were either accused or arrested in connection with these cases. None of the cases has so far been disposed of.

In Nagaon district, 35 cases were registered in connection with rhino poaching and 80 persons were either accused or arrested in connection with these cases. None of the cases has so far been disposed of.

The district administrations of these districts also informed Choudhury that the arms and weapons recovered from the accused persons in these cases include AK 56 rifles, AK 47 rifles, 303 rifles, sten guns, SBLM guns. The recovered ammunition included cases of INSAS and SLR guns, pistols (including the 7.65 mm pistol made in Spain) and other live ammunition.

Again, in KNP, 52 cases were registered in connection with rhino poaching between 2009 and 2013, while in the Orang National Park 32 cases were registered in this connection, nine cases were registered in Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary in connection with rhino poaching during the said period. But, the Manas National Park and Tiger Reserve authorities failed to respond to his queries in this connection,

Choudhury said.

Choudhury called for steps to impart proper training to the police officials of the above districts on the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 of the above four districts. Moreover, there should be a coordination among the judiciary, and the departments of police and forest for evolving a mechanism for speedy disposal of the cases connected with wildlife crime.