Forest guards to get sophisticated weapons to protect rhinos: Brahma

To protect one-horned rhinoceros and combat poachers, Assam forest guards will soon be equipped with sophisticated weapons.

Assam forest minister Pramila Rani Brahma on Thursday said that, the state forest department has started process to procure sophisticated weapons including AK-Ghatak rifle, Insas rifle worth Rs 10 crore.

“Today we have got some weapons among the deal. We are hoping to get all weapons within a month,” Pramila Rani Brahma said.

The state forest department will procure 20 9mm pistols, 91 AK-Ghatak rifle, 272 Insas rifle, 874 SLR, 12 12-bore gun for the forest guards to protect one-horned rhinos and to deal with poachers.

The Assam forest minister also said that, the government is looking to deploy more security personnel in Kaziranga National Park, other national parks and wildlife sanctuaries in the state.

“We have already given arms training to 45 foresters. Training of a group of 78 foresters is going on,” Brahma said.

On the other hand, the Assam minister said that, the state government will rehabilitate the families, who had become landless in flood and erosion were evicted from Amchang wildlife sanctuary outskirts of Guwahati recently.

“A total of 720 families were evicted in the recent eviction drive in Amchang wildlife sanctuary. If any family became landless in flood and erosion, they will be rehabilitated and the state forest department has already identified a location near East Abricola, Sonapur for it,” Brahma said.

Pramila Rani Brahma further said that, after massive protests against the eviction drive in Amchang, the state forest department has decided to stop the drive and it will restart if the people of Assam want.

The Assam minister also said that, she will provide all adequate measures including rented house, foods to the students, who will appear in the next HSLC examination, those were evicted recently.

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Hemanta Kumar Nath is a Guwahati-based journalist working for India Blooms News Service (IBNS), Meghalaya Times, Global News Network