MANGALDAI, April 20 - In a bid to boost the morale of the forest officials and staff showing courage in counter-poaching operations, State Forest Minister Pramila Rani Brahma along with the PCCF of the State Forest department and other higher officials visited Orang National Park and Tiger Reserve on Tuesday night following an encounter between the on-duty forest staff and poachers on Monday midnight, in which two armed poachers were gunned down.
The minister observed that it is very important to express appreciation when any forest staff do commendable job in protecting the forest and the wildlife. She expressed her deep satisfaction over the successful operation against the poachers on April 17 midnight in Baghbari forest camp area and the successful eviction drive conducted on April 11 last in Morashali forest camp area thereby acquiring 500 hectares of park land from the encroachers. She emphasised the importance of eviction of such encroachers in the forest land as there is every possibility of poachers taking shelter in those areas. She appreciated the hard work and commitment of DFO, Mangaldai Wild Life Division, Sunnydeo Choudhary and his subordinate forest staff.
Meanwhile, the two armed poachers, both of around 40 years, who were killed in the encounter with the forest guards on Monday midnight are yet to be identified by the Park authority till the filing of this report. It needs to be mentioned here that the on-duty forest staff of the National Park and Tiger Reserve on Monday midnight foiled yet another attempt of rhino poaching in the Park as forest security personnel guarding the area in between Baghbari and Khoirasali forest camp along the Sonitpur district border, gunned down two poachers who tried to sneak into the Park and then fired at the forest team. Later, the forest staff recovered one 303 rifle along with one magazine, a total of 14 rounds of live ammunition, one empty cartridge and an axe from the spot.