Mrinal Talukdar’s book on rhino poaching in Assam explores the China-Myanmar connection

A book titled ‘Mandalay’ on the rhino poaching menace in the national parks of Assam and their market route to the destination China, was released on September 4 at the Gauhati University.

Written by Guwahati-based senior journalist Mrinal Talukdar, ‘Mandalay’ was released by Gauhati University vice chancellor Mridul Hazarika during an open house discussion held at Gauhati University on Tuesday.

Mandalay is the first ever detailed research on the trail of rhino horns of Assam in South East Asia , with the support of Centre for South East Asian Studies, Gauhati University (GU).

Journalist Mrinal Talukdar, while speaking about his book, said, “Poaching in Kaziranga National Park can be curbed and contained but cannot be finished as the rising demands in China had continued to motivate the poachers. The poaching syndicate is quite complex and controlled from Myanmar. It is operated through two separate networks – one is Manipur network and another one is the Nagaland network.”

Detailing on the networks, Talukdar added, “The Manipur network run through extremist groups, using sophisticated weapons like AK-47, while the Nagaland network operates through several head of the poaching ring.”

Giving details of the syndicate, Talukdar further said, “These two networks are finally controlled from across the border between Kalay-Mandalay by a shadowy figure called Lampu, whose actual name, location, photographs are not available with any investigating agency.”

Talukder also mentioned in the book that the officer-in-charge of Jakhalabandha police station and a forest official of Northern Range who, despite tremendous pressure, are doing a great job by successfully infiltrating into the poachers’ network.

He added that the horn goes out of the country via Dimapur- Imphal-Churachandupur Kale (Myanmar) – Mandalay – Mongla (Myanmar-China border)- Kunming route.

The programme was organised by the Centre for South East Asian Studies, Gauhati University and the open house was presided over by Professor Noni Gopal Mahanta, director Centre for South East Asian Studies, Gauhati University.

This was followed by an interactive discussion and lecture on India-China Relations by Nivedita Das Kundu, York University, Toronto.

In the interactive discussion and lecture on India-China relations, Das Kundu gave a presentation in which she talked about One Belt One Road (OBOR) and its impact in India. She focused on Indo-China relations by saying that stable and non-antagonist relations between China and India is important. Das Kundu also emphasised that soft power and cultural cooperation has played significance role in enhancing people to people ties.

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