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Sushanta Roy is a journalist in the north eastern states of Assam and Meghalaya, India, who photographs and writes about the people, animals and flora, and the things that affect them.

Ivory Poachers Caught

Diphu November 14:   As reported earlier, massive poaching continues throughout Karbi Anglong. the forces of Dillai police station arrested two persons carrying ivory yesterday around 9.30 am. Forest department protection officials failed to prevent poaching to even a minimum level.

Poachers in various communities have left nothing from the croaking frogs in the streams to the elephants in the Jungle, not to mention about various birds gracing the skies. There is a huge black market of domestic dogs and wild deer of many species thriving in the Karbi Anglong townships. These losses to the natural prey base to the abundant numbers of Royal Bengal Tigers can cause severe damage to their feeding ecology.

According to a police report, a team of police lead by the officer in charge of Dillai police station Phanindra Rabha, Sub Inspector Jiten Gogoi intercepted a Bolero jeep (no AS02AC9883) and while searching the vehicle police detected two ivory tusks or the main part of the tusks of an elephant. Thetwo ivory smugglers were arrested. Police  identified the two men as Sahajan Ali and Mintu Karmakar of Jamunamukh market from the Hojai district.

elephant tusks recovered from ivory poachers
Elephant tusks recovered from ivory poachers.

Today’s incident indicates that trading of bush-meat is also rolling under the nose of the Forest department.

It is pertinent to mention here that Bokajan region of Karbi Anglong autonomous district and adjacent reserve forest areas which extends up to Kaziranga National Park; organized gang of poachers and criminal plant harvesters are carrying out illicit trade of wildlife medicinal species and aromatic plants.

Meat Poaching

Ivory poachers are not the only danger to this area. Large quantities of wild snail (escargot), flying frogs, pygmy hog, deer meat or venison of every class, elephant meat or bush-meat and freshly poached migratory birds make their way through secret routes to Nagaland, Manipur and some hilly areas of Assam.

Every day huge quantities of snails and frogs are smuggled to nearby Dimapur city in Nagaland through Laharijan corridor of Bokajan. Animal protein haul out from poached elephant, deer and wild hog are sold not only to neighboring states but regularly vended in local areas. They deliver the prohibited venison and bush-meat to specific customers in places like Bokajan market, Lahorijan, Khatkati, Dimapur city of Nagaland, Lakhijan, Chokihola, Hidipi and Sarahijan.

Though there are four Wildlife Sanctuaries in the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council governed areas, there are neither separate and dedicated personnel nor any forest division to look after the Wildlife Law Enforcement.

Kaziranga Risk

As a result, the nearest neighbour, the Kaziranga  National Park had a nightmarish experience when the Karbi Hills became a conduit and base for rhino poachers. As far as many cases of rhino poaching, the rhino horn trails ended in Dokmoka, Manja, Bokajan and the Diphu townships.