GUWAHATI, June 3 � Facing severe criticism from all quarters for its failure to prevent unabated poaching of rhinos, the State Government constituted an Anti Rhino Poaching Task Force comprising senior officials of the police and forest departments. The first meeting of the Force was held in Kaziranga today to decide the future course of action to deal with the problem.
Talking to The Assam Tribune after the meeting, Forest Minister Rockybul Hussain said that the Task Force headed by Additional Director General of Police in charge of the Special Task Force, RM Singh was notified last month to take effective steps to deal with the problem of poaching. He said that the Deputy Commissioners and Superintendents of Police of the districts of Golaghat, Karbi Anglong, Nagaon and Sonitpur have also been made members of the Force.
The meeting today decided that there is need for better training of the Forest Guards to deal effectively with the poachers. Hussain said that as the first step in this direction, a group of 50 Forests Guards would be trained in handling of sophisticated weapons like AK 47 rifles, SLR etc in the firing range of the Assam Police in Dergaon from June 5.
The police and forest personnel would share information on movement of poachers and if necessary, joint operations would be launched against the poachers. As four districts surround Kaziranga National Park, improvement of intelligence network would be able to improve anti-poaching measures. Meetings will be held between the forest officials and police officers in the rank of officers in charge of the nearby police stations to share information about movement of poachers. The Forest Department will provide vehicles to the police personnel whenever necessary to launch operations against poachers.