By- Staff Reporter
The banned militant outfit ULFA tried taking a new role, this time of wildlife conservationists, calling upon the state forest department to involve international experts in removing horns of rhinos and prevent poaching of these majestic animals.
In a statement e-mailed to Times of Assam, the outfit’s Acting Chairman thanked the NGO Nature’s Beacon of Assam for highlighting the brutal dehorning by the Assam forest Department leading to the death of rhino. Dr. Abhizeet Asom called upon the Assam Government’s Forest Department to first explain to the people of Assam the purpose and process of the dehorning of Rhinos being initiated by the Department.
In the statement, ULFA Acting Chairman said a transparent methodology of storing Rhino horns should be adopted and the revenue earned from it legally should be used for conservation efforts of the fauna in Assam.
His comments came a few days after a rhino died after its horn was sawed off by the forest department. The rhino had strayed away from Kaziranga National Park and took shelter in Majuli Island in the Brahmaputra. The rhino later died on March 25 due to internal injuries suffered during an attack by locals.
The Acting Chairman also suggested that help of renowned conservationist like John Hume of South Africa should be sought for this matter. He also asked the forest department to emulate the Chinese example and take help of the public and NGOs for planting quick growing grass, bamboo, wild palms as fodder for these herbivores.
It is to be mentioned that several Chinese Pharmaceutical Companies as well as Arms manufacturing companies have been trying to woo the Rebel groups of North East such as the ULFA to make Rhino Horns available to them at high prices and against heavy discounts in arm purchase. However most of the groups are known to have been rejecting the offer as this would endanger the entire population of Rhinos in the region owing to the tremendous demand of Rhino Horns in China and Vietnam.