Among those who made it to the list of winners in Assam panchayat polls is a rhino poacher. Dilwar Hussain, who is wanted in a rhino poaching case, has won panchayat polls in Assam on a Congress ticket. Hussain won by a margin of 240 votes.
Hailing from Suwaguri village, Hussain was arrested twice for his alleged involvement in rhino killing. He is out on bail now. Sources said that Hussain was first arrested in 2011 for his alleged involvement of rhino poaching in Kaziranga National Park.
While a case (no – 316/2011) was registered against Dilwar at Biswanath police station, he was yet again arrested next year over allegation of another rhino poaching. The court had directed the state forest department to probe into these rhino poaching incidents this year.
“I am innocent. It is a political conspiracy against me. A case was registered against me and it is going on, but I am just an accused person, not a convicted person,” Hussain said.
The Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) on the other hand has termed the incident as unfortunate and said that the party had already written to the concerned Deputy Commissioner to cancel his candidature. “It is very unfortunate. We have already sent a letter to the Deputy Commissioner and election officer of Biswanath district to cancel his candidature,” said senior Congress leader Apurba Bhattacharyya.
It may be mentioned here that the Congress and regional party AGP had to face criticism ahead of the panchayat polls for giving party ticket to candidates with alleged rhino poaching background. While the Congress had given ticket to Hussain, the AGP had also given ticket to one Ganesh Doley—an alleged rhino poacher.
Doley, who contested in the rural polls on AGP ticket, served a jail term for his alleged involvement in rhino poaching incidents and illegal wildlife trade. He, however, lost to a BJP candidate in the polls.