Guwahati: The Assam forest department recently busted a rhino horn trading racket and arrested three persons in the Kaziranga area of Assam’s Golaghat district.
The trio has been identified as Imam Ali of Baghmari in Biswanath district, Baharul Islam of Kuthuri in Golaghat district and Mohan Teron of Rongbong village in Karbi Anglong district.
Earlier on Monday, the state forest department arrested Imam Ali from the Bandardubi area under the Kaliabor subdivision in the Nagaon district. On being interrogated, Ali said he had sold a rhino horn to Baharul Islam.
Based on Ali’s revelation, the forest department arrested Baharul Islam from Kuthuri. After interrogating Islam, the forest department personnel arrested the third accused involved in the trade of the horn from Karbi Anglong.
“Based on a tip-off, we conducted a raid on the night of August 15 and arrested one Imam Ali from his house and during interrogation, he revealed to have sold a rhino horn to Baharul Islam. Based on his revelation, we arrested Baharul Islam. After investigating Baharul, the third person, Mohan Teron, was arrested. We are continuing our investigation into the matter,” Ramesh Kumar Gogoi, the divisional forest officer of Kaziranga National Park, said.
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 to 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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