NEW DELHI, April 15 - Terming the recently killing of rhinos in the Kaziranga National Park as a �serious� issue, the Centre today said that it will take stringent action against poachers and also ask the State government to immediately recruit people in the rhino task force to curb the menace.
Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said that the recent approval given by the Union Cabinet to adopt the statute of the South Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network (SAWEN) will increase cooperation between South Asian countries to curb wildlife crimes.
The comments come on a day Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi directed Additional Chief Secretary TY Das to probe the death of two rhinos in Kaziranga National Park recently and to submit a report to him.
Javadekar said that the Centre is very serious regarding the issue and has initiated tough action against the poachers, many of whom have been killed, and such steps will continue.
�They are using AK-47s. This is a serious issue. We have already created rhino task force. Unfortunately the State government has not recruited. Now that the elections are over, we will ask the State government to immediately do that. Our concept is that local youths are trained and recruited in the protection force. The Centre is going to pay,� Javadekar said.
Hours after England�s Prince William and his wife Princess Kate Middleton visited the Kaziranga National Park, poachers shot dead a rhinoceros at the sprawling sanctuary using AK-47 guns. The poachers had killed a female rhino just two days before the royal visit. The horns of both animals were hacked off. � PTI