SHILLONG, June 13 � In Garo Hills, not just humans, but the hapless animals too are not safe from militants and terrorists as they are being killed at will.
Participating in the question hour discussions, Clifford R Marak said that endangered animals in the jungles too were being killed by militants such as the Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) for food.
�Earlier, the Achik National Volunteer Council was killing animals for food, now it is the GNLA that is killing the animals,� said Marak, who is the lone member from the Garo National Council from Chokpot constituency in South Garo Hills.
He further said that the militants are hunting these animals with sophisticated arms, like latest series of AK-47 rifles and asked whether the Forest guards were adequately equipped to counter these attacks on the animals by militants.
Forest and Environment Minister Prestone Tynsong could not give specific make of weapons that Meghalaya Forest guards were in possession, but informed the House that they were armed with rifles.
He, however, said that the Forest guards were no match with the militants having sophisticated weapons in their possession. Tynsong added that the Forest department takes the assistance of the police forces whenever it is necessary and further informed that the department has no plans to upgrade the weapons of the Forest guards as of today.
Tynsong, nonetheless, informed the House that there were eleven species of animals listed as endangered by the government. The list includes Slow Loris, Hog-Badger, Clouded Leopard, Hoolock Gibbon, three species of Monitors, Indian Rock Python, Tiger and Great Pied Hornbill.
In Garo Hills, apart from the endangered list of animals, there is an Elephant reserve, but despite that, the numbers of the gentle giants are slowly depleting. According to some estimates, there are just over 1,000 elephants roaming in the wild in Meghalaya�s jungles.