Assam to get a Task force to prevent Wildlife Crime

Assam may soon get a State Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (SWCCB) in line with the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau.

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said this to journalists in the state capital Dispur on Sunday.

He added that the decision was taken considering a rise in wildlife linked crimes in Assam, particularly the poaching of the rare one-horned rhinos.

“We want to set up a SWCCB to look after all wildlife crimes in the state. We will also seek help from international organisations who have been working to stop wildlife crime across the world,” said Gogoi.

Gogoi urged political parties to stop playing “politics” over the issue and said the number of animals like one-horned rhinos, elephants and tigers had been rising since his government took power in Dispur.

The announcement came at a time when the state forest department has drawn flake due to growing poaching of one horned rhinos in Assam.

While suspected poachers have killed six rhinos in the past one week, horns of two rhinos were chopped off when they were still alive near the Kaziranga National Park.

The Assam government has also decided to engage the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe rhino killings of the last three years.

The government has also decided to deploy the army and paramilitary forces in areas adjoining to the national park, particularly in Karbi Anglong district, to stop the poachers from attempting to kill rhinos.

“We are working on it – SWCCB. I am going to instruct officials to seek help from international organisations,” Gogil said.

He said the involvement of locals was a must for conservation efforts.

He said that if needed, the government can go for an Animal Defence Party in the lines of Village Defence Parties in Assam.

Gogoi also expressed concern over the third wave of devastating floods in the state in September which left 32 people dead.

He welcomed the proposal to set up a Brahmaputra River Valley Authority (BRVA).

“This is the need of the hour… to control and contain the floods and erosion problem of Assam.

“We have supported the move to create a North East Water Resource Authority (NEWRA). However, Arunachal Pradesh has opposed this.

“To contain a mighty river like Brahmaputra, we need the support of all northeastern states and also neighbouring countries like Bhutan, China and Bangladesh,” he said.