GUWAHATI: A broken piece of rhino horn has forced the Assam forest and police department to launch an intensive operation in Karbi Anglong since Thursday. Since Thursday, an operation was launched after intel report was received that a ‘broken’ piece of rhino horn has been on transit and was heading out of the state
During the operation, the security sleuths though nabbed at least seven suspected smugglers, the horn continued to remain untraced.
While Bokakhat police detained three persons on Thursday, four others were nabbed on Friday morning.
Forest department sources told TIME8, “An intel input was received that one broken piece of rhino horn in on transit from Karbi Anglong. Immediately, an operation was launched and one Rameswar Signar was nabbed who confessed that he has received the rhino horn from one Dhanpur Kardong. Based on their revelation the others were also nabbed from various locations. However, we are yet to find out the rhino horn.”
Preliminary investgation has revealed that three out of seven identifed as Tarjen Terang, Rajen Rongfer and Mridul Pegu were involved in a separate rhino horn trading incident of 2016. Two others- Biman Taro and Hariram Ingti revealed that they have handed over the broken horn to somone in Diphu, sources added.
On the eve of World Rhino Day, Assam forest minister Parimal Suklabaidya on Monday said that the major challenge faced by rhinos in Assam is poaching for their horns. However, the trend of poaching had started coming down from 22 in 2016 to only 3 in 2019.