GUWAHATI, April 21 – The Nature's Beckon, an environment activist group, has demanded a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into all the incidents of wildlife crime in Assam as the organization is of the view that the possibility of involvement of some Forest Department personnel in such crimes cannot be ruled out.
Soumyadip Dutta of the Nature's Beckon told The Assam Tribune that the Forest Department did not keep proper records of the animal parts available with the Department, which raised doubts in the minds of the people. He said that when they sought information about the number of rhino horns kept with the Forest Department, the figure did not tally with the figure of the rhinos which died a natural death in the National Parks and sanctuaries of the State. The Forest Department should make it clear as to why such figures did not tally and only a thorough probe would bring to light the true information, he added.
Dutta alleged that a large number of rhino horns kept with the Forest Department might be fake ones. He demanded that all the horns available with the Forest Department should be checked by the forensic department to ascertain whether all are genuine rhino horns as there is every possibility that some of the items kept as rhino horns might be fake ones. The Forest Department once had started the process of burning of the rhino horns without such forensic tests and the process was stopped only after different organizations raised a hue and cry over the issue.
Same may be the case with the elephant tusks kept with the Forest Department and all the tusks should be properly checked by the forensic department to ascertain their genuineness.
Dutta further said that the Forest Department should make public the full list of animal parts including tiger and leopard skin stored in different offices of the Forest Department. He said that the list would not tally with the number of animals which died a natural death in the forests of the state. Even if tigers and leopards were burned after their death, the records of such burnings should be made public, he added.