Magistrate inquiry ordered into killing of suspected poachers in Assam

Magistrate inquiry ordered into killing of suspected poachers in Assam

Following an incident where two suspected poachers were shot by forest officials in Assam's Laokhowa Wildlife Sanctuary, a magistrate inquiry has been ordered. The inquiry will be conducted under National Human Rights Commission guidelines, with a report due in 10 days.

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The Nagaon District Magistrate, on June 23, ordered a magistrate inquiry into the deaths of two suspected poachers in Laokhowa Wildlife Sanctuary, Assam. The incident occurred on June 22, when forest officials shot two individuals near Rowmari Beel under Gorajan Range.

The deceased, identified as Samar Uddin (30) and Abdul Jalil (35) from Dhingbori Chapori village, were allegedly part of a group of 20 armed intruders encountered by forest patrolling parties on rhino protection duty.

Sonali Ghosh, Director of Kaziranga National Park & Tiger Reserve, stated, "When challenged, the intruders attacked with sharp weapons, and the forest team opened fire in self-defence." The wounded individuals were taken to Nagaon Civil Hospital, where they were pronounced dead.

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has directed the Chief Secretary to investigate the incident thoroughly. He tweeted, "I have directed the Chief Secretary of Assam to immediately constitute an inquiry to investigate the incident thoroughly."

The inquiry, to be conducted by Additional District Magistrate Sudeep Nath, will follow National Human Rights Commission guidelines. The Enquiry Officer is required to submit a report within 10 days.

Laokhowa Wildlife Sanctuary has a history of rhino poaching and conflicts. Ghosh noted, "In the mid-1980s, around 45 rhinos were poached to local extinction. Miscreants are known to have attacked forest staff on multiple occasions."

Recent efforts to strengthen boundaries and increase vigilance have led to the natural migration of 2-3 rhinos from Orang Tiger Reserve into the Roumari landscape since October 2023.

Edited By: Aparmita
Published On: Jun 23, 2024