In a major breakthrough in the rhino poaching case at Bagori in Assam’s Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve on March 26, Special Task Force (STF), Assam, and Nagaon Police recovered the rhino horn, which is suspected to have been poached during the incident.
Based on credible source information received by Dhrubajyoti Nath, additional superintendent of police, STF, Kaziranga, regarding a group of poachers trying to sell a rhino horn, Nagaon Police and STF, Assam, swung into action.
DIG, STF, Partha Sarathi Mahanta, said, “A trap was laid at the Batadrava area in Nagaon district. The operation was led by Rupjyoti Kalita, additional SP, Crime, Nagaon district, with support from Dhrubajyoti Nath, additional SP, STF, Kaziranga, on April 14.”
“In the operation, a member of the rhino poachers’ gang, identified as Saidul Islam (38) of Hamur Char in the Lahorighat police station area of Morigaon district, was caught red-handed with a rhino horn. On leads received during interrogation of the apprehended accused person, a search was conducted in which 3 motorcycles, Rs 50,000 in cash and 1 mobile handset were recovered and seized by the police team,” Mahanta said.
He informed further that forest officials were consulted and it was ascertained that the seized rhino horn was original.
“Further technical analysis of the rhino horn was conducted by scientists of CWRC, Kaziranga, who confirmed that it is original and fresh (approximately one month old). On interrogation of the apprehended person, it was learnt that a .303 rifle, which was used to poach the rhino at Bagori, Kaziranga was hidden at Saiful Tapu, Bagori range which is located not far from the post office under Kathpara camp, Bagori Forest Range, Nagaon. Accordingly, a team of Nagaon Police and STF, Assam, Kaziranga, led by the Additional SP, STF, with Rupam Bordoloi, SDPO of Kaliabor and police personnel, along with Forest officials, took the apprehended person to the post office to search for the said weapon and help us reconstruct the crime,” added Mahanta.
“However, when the team reached the Brahmaputra river, the apprehended accused, in the cover of darkness, jumped into the river and fled. A manhunt is underway to catch him,” he added.
He also said an operation is on to apprehend the rhino poachers named by the apprehended accused involved in the poaching incident. (ANI)