The Assam forest department’s crime investigation range of Biswanath Chariali apprehended a gang of poachers from the state’s Biswanath district on Monday night.
The gang of poachers was reportedly planning to kill an endangered one-horned rhino at the famed Kaziranga National Park (KNP) when they were nabbed.
The team of crime investigation range first apprehended the mastermind of the gang Ajit Das, and based on his revelations, three other members of the gang, Padum Hazarika, Dhanidev Saikia, and Dipankar Bodo, were apprehended. While Hazarika and Saikia hail from the Behali area of the district, Bodo is a resident of the district’s Japoubari village.
Dipankar Bodo, a former cadre of the now disbanded National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), is reportedly a sharpshooter.
Earlier on Sunday, the group had allegedly entered the KNP in a bid to kill a rhino, but failed due to the alertness of forest guards in the park.
On July 26, the Jorhat police arrested a smuggler and seized a rhino horn from his possession.
With a population of 2,613, the KNP is the world’s largest habitat for one-horned rhinos. These rhinos fall prey to poachers due for their horns.
Poaching of this endangered species is driven by the demand for their horns in Asian countries, particularly China and Vietnam. The rhino horn is reportedly used in traditional Chinese medicine and is also used as a status symbol to display success and wealth. One rhino horn could fetch over Rs 1 crore in the international market.
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