KOKRAJHAR: Around 57 poachers of the Raimona National park in Kokrajhar district on the occasion of World Rhino Day surrendered to the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) of Assam.
The administration of BTC has also allotted each of the poachers a cheque worth Rs 50,000 to sustain their livelihood. Pramod Boro, the Chief Executive Members of BTC, notified that in the incoming days more financial aid would be given to them and requested other poachers to surrender. Near the national park in a village, the poachers have surrendered with arms.
BTR chief Pramod Boro taking to Twitter stated, “Handed over Rs. 50,000 ex-gratia & assured two handloom clusters to 57 poachers who surrendered their arms at a ceremony at Raimona National Park on World Rhino Day today. Our govt. is committed to take every possible step to make ‘Poaching free BTR’.”
Poachers don’t want to hunt anymore in Raimona National Park
Ever since Raimona has been announced to be a national park, the poachers do not want to hunt anymore and are consequently surrendering. Poachers are expected to prevent hunting and poaching of wild animals in the area. Pramod Boro is hopeful, many more poachers will come up to surrender
In this regard, the government is planning to further give an amount of Rs 1.20 lakhs for establishing a new business, this has been initiated by the Government to honour their step of surrendering and to protect their livelihood, Pramod Boro stated while giving away the cheques.
Additionally, the BTR chief Pramod Boro offered employment in that area by setting up two handloom factories.
Horns were burnt on World Rhino Day
Meanwhile, the biggest-ever stockpile of rhino horns was put to flames at Bokakhat on the occasion of World Rhino Day amidst the blowing of conch shells and chanting of hymns to dispel the myths related to rhino horns.
The Assam Government burnt almost 2,479 rhino horns in the presence of Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, at a public function to bust that rhino horns have amazing medicinal value.
Rathin’s view on poaching
The joint director, Wildlife Trust of India, Rathin Barman stated “Poachers were identified and educated about protecting wildlife.”
“In Assam and the rest of northeast… various tribes have been involved in traditional hunting. Most of the weapons surrendered were self-made muzzle-loaded rifles. Some of the poachers have already given up hunting, but they decided to hand over their weapons to the government.” he adds.
However, Barman said there are no records of data on the number of poachers in the area and the process of surrender of arms would continue.
Poaching in Assam
However, Rhino poaching in Assam is a major environmental issue whereas the highest population of one-hornedRhino in the world is in Assam. Mostly they are found in Kaziranga, Manas and Orang National Parks also in Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary, with about 2,600 individual rhinos.
Earlier they were found in Laokhowa Wildlife Sanctuary and some other parts of the state from Goalpara in the west to Dibru-Saikhowa National Park in the east.