The Dalgaon Police in Darrang district in the intervening night of Saturday and Sunday apprehended two hardcore poachers including a hired shooter of Nagaland from a village near Orang National Park in Darrang.
The arrested poachers have been identified as Sumo Azem of Nagaland and Ruful Amin of Dhing of Nagaon district.
According to the confessional statement of arrested poacher Ruful, a group of four poachers hired the shooter from Nagaland and the group was camping in Rangagarha village, adjacent to Orang National Park with a view to kill rhinos and take away horns in the park.
However, the police with proper inputs immediately arrested both the poachers while two of their accomplices managed to escape taking arms and ammunition.
It may be mentioned that out of the total 32 rhinos killed in 2016 and 2017, Kaziranga National Park accounted for 25 while four were killed in Orang National Park, two in Manas National Park and one in Biswanath district.
In June 25, 2017, carcass of a rhino was found at Orang National Park in Darrang district. The poachers killed the one horned rhino and took away its horn, leaving the body near the Gaspara forest camp inside the national park.
As per media reports, the locals suspect involvement of Forest Department officials in the rhino poaching incident as there was no immediate response to the sound of gun firing by the forest guards.
Despite security measures being taken to prevent rhino poaching and arrest of several poachers from different parts of the State, incidents of rhino poaching continue to take place in the State.
The rhino horn is smuggled through Nagaland and Manipur into South East Asian countries.
As per media report, the rhino census in Orang National Park will be conducted on April 2.