Guwahati, Oct 7 (IANS): The Gauhati High Court has asked the State and Central governments to file affidavits on steps taken for protection of the rare one-horned rhinos and others animals in the Kaziranga National Park, a lawyer said.
A divisional bench of Chief Justice A.K. Goel and Justice N.K. Singh issued the notice Friday after taking a suo-moto cognizance of media reports about the alleged rampant rhino poaching and death of many animals due to floods, said Chandra Baruah, the central government's counsel, Saturday.
The court has also asked the respondents to file the affidavits within four weeks.
Assam Forest Minister Rockybul Hussain had earlier said that 39 rhinos were killed since January this year. Eleven of them were killed by poachers.
A series of rhino killings have taken place near the national park - a Unesco world heritage site. There were protests across the state over the rhino killings, particularly after suspected poachers chopped off the horns of two rhinos near the park, when the animals were still alive.
Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi announced that the government will get the rhino killings inquired by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
The state government had also deployed army and central paramilitary forces in areas adjoining to the park to protect the animals, particularly the rhinos, which strays out of the park during flood season.