The organisations have dashed a memorandum to the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh seeking his intervention to ensure foolproof protection measures to save the gullible rhino from the poachers on the prowl in and around Kaziranga National Park, known as the abode of the animal species.
All the organizations spoke in unison against the incidents of poaching and lamented the complete failure of the existing system in the enforcement of law to ensure protection of rhinos in the KNP.
The organizations demanded that there should be immediate action taken by the authorities to curb the ongoing poaching and nab the poachers. The organizations also demanded that the issue should not be politicized, but rather constructive steps should be taken to put an end to the poaching of rhinos.
All the NGOs felt that there was a serious lacuna in establishing collaboration with the neighbouring Karbi Anglong Autonomous District Council (KAADC) authorities to provide protection to Kaziranga animals and intensify patrolling in the southern side of the Park bordering Karbi hills as well as along the riverine stretch to the north direction.
“The KNP authorities have not learnt lessons about the previous spell of poaching that took place in June 2012,” the NGOs stated adding the forest department has miserably failed to elicit support from the people of the fringe areas towards conservation efforts. “People residing in fringe areas of KNP must be taken into consideration through a participatory approach to facilitate fast gathering of intelligence to nab the poachers,” the organisations observed.
The following demands were raised by all the NGOs:
There should be building of adequate number of scientific highlands for shelter of flood-hit animal in the KNP; strengthening the intelligence network system ; filling up of all vacancies of all frontline staff in KNP ; recruitment of locals as rangers and ACFs through direct recruitment from local people, establish better coordination with the KAADC and State Forest Department with particular emphasis on wildlife protection in the foothills bordering Kaziranga; setting up of more anti poaching camps in Karbi Anglong properly manned and equipped: forest staff should be equipped with advanced equipment and arms; the forest department. and police department must properly pursue all cases against poachers pending at courts so that bail is not granted to poachers and to ensure high rate of conviction; accountability should be introduced within the authority which is responsible for protection of our natural heritage; setting up of a fund for follow up of poaching cases in the court; exemplary action should be taken against lapses on part of forest officers responsible for preventing rhino poaching; the vulnerable area of concern where rhinos are being poached in Karbi Anglong should immediately brought under the jurisdiction of the KNP authorities; creation of an additional post of DFO for taking care of development and public relations; all applications seeking permissions for scientific research for the ultimate well being of the park should be expeditiously processed; and setting up of a dedicated veterinary centre in the Park.
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