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Central protection force for rhinos will be raised soon: MoEF

Press Trust of India  |  Guwahati 

Union Environment and Forest Minister Prakash Javadekar today expressed concern over continuing poaching of rhinos in Assam and said a central protection force will be raised to protect the animal.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of an event, Javadekar said the force will be raised soon, mainly to protect rhinos at the Kaziranga National park.

Local youths of Kaziranga will be included in the force, he added.

Expressing concern on poaching, the minister said, the Central government is considering to amend some relevant laws to stop poaching and selling of rhino horns.

At least 75 rhinoceros have been killed by poachers across different forests in Assam since 2013, the Assembly was informed last week.

Assam Environment and Forest Minister Atuwa Munda had said 37 rhinos were killed by poachers in 2013, 32 in 2014 and 6 in this year till March 8.

Poachers have killed 54 rhinos in Kaziranga National Park, while 6 were murdered in Manas National Park and 5 in Orang National Park. Also, four rhinos were killed in Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary.

During this period, forest guards and security forces have arrested 124 poachers.

Besides, 146 rhinos died due to natural reasons since January 1, 2013 across the state.

First Published: Sat, March 21 2015. 19:28 IST