Guwahati, Aug 8: Assam government today said it cannot stop rhino poaching alone and is considering to hand over the probe to National Investigation Agency (NIA) in order to break the international cartel.
Replying to a Zero Hour notice by AGP MLA Pabindra Deka, Forest Minister Pramila Rani Brahma said the state government is currently evaluating options to hand over the investigation to NIA.
"Our department or government cannot alone stop rhino poaching. I have taken poaching of rhinos very seriously and discussed it with my officials.
I have informed this to the Chief Minister also," she said. Brahma said five rhinos have been killed by poachers since the BJP-led government came to power in Assam despite its best effort to prevent it.
"We have decided to hand over the probe of rhino poaching to NIA. We are discussing this with Home and Political Department. We are evaluating now whether NIA will accept our proposal and how they will proceed," she added.
If NIA accepts the state government's request to probe the poaching cases of the world famous one-horned rhinos, then it will lead to breaking of the international cartel, the Minister said. The main reason of continuing rhino poaching is its horn.
The price of a horn goes up to crores of rupees in international market for its medicinal value in cancer treatment. BJP MLA Padma Hazarika pointed out that Nepal has been successful in stopping rhino poaching in recent years and suggested the state government to send representatives to the Himalayan nation to study their preventive measures.