KAZIRANGA, Sept 13 - Forest Martyrs Day was observed on Monday at Kohora Social Forestry Memorial Park by people from various walks of life. The programme was organised by the officers and staff of Eastern Assam Wildlife Division (Kaziranga), where floral tributes were paid to those forest staff, including frontline forest guards who made the supreme sacrifice by laying down their lives in the line of duty, i.e., while protecting the wild animals of Kaziranga National Park.
Divisional Forest Officer Rohini Ballav Saikia lit the ceremonial lamp before the swahid smriti and paid floral tributes to the great soldiers of Kaziranga. He was followed by Dhiren Phukon and Chinmoy Dhar, both retired forest officials, who became nostalgic while recalling those difficult days when forest guards risked life and limb while patrolling Kaziranga National Park.
In may perhaps not be out of place to mention here that a forest guard named Boluram Dutta was the first martyr who sacrificed his life on February 26, 1968 while fighting against poachers. Dutta succumbed to bullet injuries sustained after being shot by poachers.
Nilapadma Sharma, an electronic media reporter suggested that a display board mentioning the names of all the martyrs should be put up prominently in the public interest. Suggestions for paying floral tributes mandatory at the swahid smriti before going ahead with any forest conservation-related event like Wildlife Week, Van Mahostav and World Environment Day, was mooted.