Assam Police and forest officials in a joint operation arrested two poachers from Sootia area.

In a major success against poaching of one horned rhinos, the Assam Police and forest officials of Kaziranga National Park (KNP) in a joint operation on Saturday arrested two poachers from Sootia area in Biswanath distrit.

A senior official of the forest department said that a .303 rifle, ammunition and one inflatable boat and pump were also recovered from the two poachers.

“The poachers were planning to poach rhinos from inside the Kaziranga National Park. They were armed and were found with inflatable boats to enter the park, 70 per cent area of which was flooded during the current wave of floods,” said the official.

“One Yakub Ali and Kasem Ali were arrested with the help of police in Sootea from Bhujmari and Milonpur areas under Biswanath range of the park,” he said adding that interrogation is on to find more details about rhino poaching rackets.

The arrest on Saturday came based on the statements made by one Toyikhu Zhimomi alias Toikhu or Master, who was arrested by the police and forest officials on Thursday.

Hailing from Dimapur, Zhimomi was wanted by police and the forest officials in several rhino poaching cases.

Police said that Zhimomi is linked to many international rhino poaching and sale cartels, which operate in the region through their agents.

“He is the kingpin of supplying arms and shooters to poach rhinos in Kaziranga National Park. He is also one of the main traders in rhino horn who operates from Dimapur to Churachandpur. Preliminary investigation revealed that he has traded more than 10 rhino horns since 2014,” said the senior official.

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