Two more poachers, who were allegedly involved in poaching a rhino at Haregari Kathoni in Panpur under Sonitpur district on May 29, 2018, have been arrested by police.
Sono Ngaihte, who hails from Churachandpur of Manipur along with one Kamal Tawang alias Indra from Lakhimpur were arrested by police at Gohpur and were later handed over to the forest officials of the Northern Range of Sixth Addition of Kaziranga National Park (KNP).
As per information, the duo was arrested on the basis of the confessions by dreaded poacher Anwar Islam and Musabbar Rahman from Sootea.
Sources said, “Arrested poachers Anwar Islam and Musabbar Rahman had confessed before the forest officials that the mastermind of the May 29, 2018 poaching incident, had given Rs 1 lakh to one Atho Gadi, a man from Arunachal Pradesh based at Naharlagun, for bringing a bottle of poison for poaching.”
Pranjal Baruah, forest range officer of the Northern Range of Sixth Addition of KNP claimed, “A man from Manipur, identified as Uthanboi, was controlling the entire poaching incident on May 29 at Panpur.”
He also asserted, “Sono Ngaihte from Churachandpur of Manipur, who had direct link with Atho Gadi, handed over Rs 1 lakh to the latter. There was also one car driver, who has been identified as Kamal Tawang alias Indra, had helped them. But all of them except Gadi have been arrested by Gohpur Police.”
Baruah also informed that a case [79/15, U/S 25(1) (a) 27] has been lodged at Gohpur Police Station under the arms Act and all the arrested persons have been handed over to the wildlife division of Northern Range.
“They were produced before the CJM’s court at Tezpur today and they have been sent to four-day custody,” Baruah said.
Baruah said out of the total 10 people involved in the May 29 poaching incident, four have been arrested and six others are still absconding. “The forest officials with the help of Arunachal Police conducted a search operation in Atho Gadi’s house, but he is still absconding,” said Baruah.
Baruah hoped that with the support from the Government in the search operation in both the States, the forest officials along with police would be able to recover the missing horn.