BISWANATH CHARIALI, June 26 - Numourous sand bars scattered along the Brahmaputra in Biswanath district and some parts of Sonitpur district have lately become a haven for rhino poachers, police here claim.
Encroachment by people of doubtful citizenship along with the presence of cattle herders have also added to the burgeoning problem. Though the administration has been evicting the illegal encroachments from time to time, they again erect their sheds overnight. Due to lack of regular monitoring by the official machinery, the said sand bars from the southern part of Chatiya-Jamuguri to Lohitmukh, Gohpur, are said to be sheltering poachers. This area falls under the Sixth Extension of Kaziranga National Park.
People suspect that rhino poachers enter the national park through the Brahmaputra, and after completing their �mission�, they safely leave by using the same route. It may be mentioned here that police arrested around 25 suspected rhino poachers from these areas along with a huge cache of arms and ammunition in the recent past.
Meanwhile, the Biswanath Police has intensified operations against rhino poachers along the area. The Superintendent of Police, Biswanath district, Ankur Jain instructed his men to keep strict vigil on the char-saporis.
A team of Biswanath Police, foresters and CRPF personnel led by Additional Superintendent of Police, Biswanath, Samad Hussein carried out a search operation in the Bhojmari area along Chatiya-Jamuguri part of the Sixth Extension of Kaziranga National Park on Saturday.
However, local public opine that infrastructure along the area has to be developed upto such a level so that it becomes possible to arrange regular monitoring. A good number of police and forest personnel have also to be deployed in the whole area and a proper communication system is also needed.
Rhinos and other animals often come out of the park to these areas in search of food and it is then that poachers take the chance due to the unavailability of the above-mentioned facilities.
�What is needed is political will to thwart rhino poaching through practical means�, local people here commented.