GUWAHATI: Despite Assam forest minister Rockybul Hussain reiterating last week that he is in favour of a CBI inquiry into the unabated rhino killings at Kaziranga National Park, there seems to be no let up in poaching. On Monday, a rhino was poached, the eighth one this year, triggering skepticism among common people and conservationists regarding the efficacy of the existing anti-poaching set-up.
The Monday killing took place even as the forest department deployed two battalions of the newly-raised Assam Forest Protection Force (AFPF) in Kaziranga to take on the poachers. The two battalions, comprising a total of 300 personnel, are assisting forest guards at Biswanath, Bagori, Burapahar and Agoratoli forest ranges of the park. The eighth rhino was killed in the Agoratoli range, where the AFPF is already deployed.