Assam: elephant smuggling racket busted

GUWAHATI: There seems to be no end to crimes involving animals like smuggling of animal parts ,poaching of rhino for horns and elephants for their tusks and the likes, especially in Assam.

In a similar incident, a gang involved in illegally capturing and smuggling elephants out of Assam came to light after forest department busted a thriving racket in the state.

As per the forest officials, seizure of two female elephants at Badhoi Panchali in Dibrugarh district in April led them to the arrest of three persons — a mahout, his helper and a middleman of the racket Rahim Hussain on June 17.

However, the kingpins managed to get a tip off of the arrests and were able to escape when a 50-member team of forest officials and police raided their hideout at Merapani in Golaghat district recently.

Assam Forest Minister Pramila Rani Brahma has ordered the department to go all out for nabbing the two absconders and dismantle the racket involved in elephant smuggling.

K K Sarma, assistant director of Wildlife Crime Control Bureau has also ordered investigation into this racket.

As per the statement of Digboi forest division’s divisional forest officer R K Das, two elephants aged 7-8 years were also trapped in Arunachal Pradesh.

Forest officials said as sale of captive elephants are banned, the smugglers in Assam uses these fake documents for inter-state transfer of elephants. “These elephants are then illegally sold once transferred outside Assam,” a forest official said.”

Following Brahma’s direction, the two elephants were shifted to Kaziranga last week.

It is a sorry sight to note that Assam has been unable to contain the menace of crime against animals and smuggling despite numerous such incidents.

(TNT Desk, Sources)
(Representational image: internet)

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