The horses were rescued while being illegally transported in a truck at Makum bypass in Assam’s Tinsukia district on Friday Credit: Representational image

Tinsukia: The Assam forest department rescued seven feral horses belonging to Dibru-Saikhowa National Park while being illegally transported in a truck at Makum bypass in Tinsukia district.

Confirming the development, divisional forest officer (Tinsukia wildlife division) Rajendra Singh Bharti said that based on a tip-off, a team of forest officials intercepted a truck and rescued seven feral horses that were being transported illegally. “Four persons have been detained in the connection,” he said.

“It is yet to be established whether the horses were smuggled from inside the national park or outside the boundary of the park,” Bharti said, adding that this will be clear only once the investigating team takes the detained persons to the spot from where they smuggled the horses.

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Prima facie, said Bharti, it has been learnt that the horses were being take to Guwahati for horse riding at the Polo Club. “The role of some Army personnel has come to light behind the illegal transportation of the horses for using them in Polo Club,” he added.

However, several calls and messages sent to Bharti on Saturday to find out the names of those detained and the status of the case remained unanswered.

When contacted, a source in the Army denied such reports. “We have not received any inputs or communication of involvement of any Army personnel in this case from forest department,” the source added.

Attempts to speak to Guijan range officer Jaganath Agarwala turned futile.

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