Indian increasingly involved in Rhino poaching: Park officials
RAMESH KUMAR PAUDEL
CHITWAN, May 22: Gone are the days when people from marginalized communities like Chepang, Bote and Kumal living around Chitwan National Park (CNP) were involved in poaching activities.
If new evidences are anything to go by, Indian nationals have replaced Chepang, Bote and Kumal people as poachers inside the CNP.
Three days ago, a patrol team deployed by the CNP encountered four gun-toting suspects. While three of them managed to escape, Rajesh Talwar, 22, was arrested with a home-made gun.
Talwar, a resident of Champaran district in Bihar, revealed that they had entered the CNP to kill rhinos. He also said that three other suspects who managed to flee were also from India.
With Talwar´s arrest, the CNP officials believe that Indian nationals are increasingly getting involved in rhino-poaching.
Only one month ago, a new case of rhino poaching had jolted the CNP officials who had celebrated 2011 as the zero-poaching year.
A sniffer-dog used by the CNP officials to follow the poachers involved in killing the rhino on April 3 had entered into India, which raised speculations about the involvement of Indian nationals in rhino-poaching cases.
"When the sniffer dog entered into India, we suspected the involvement of Indian nationals in poaching cases," said Jhamak Bahadur Karki, Chief Warden at the CNP. "After the arrest of Talwar, it is now confirmed."
Karki says the CNP officials are coordinating with the Indian authorities at Balmiki Tiger Reserve (BTR) to arrest Indian nationals involved in rhino-poaching in Nepal.
"It is technically difficult to enter India to arrest Indian poachers," said Karki. "So, we are coordinating with the BTR officials." According to him, sketches of Indian poachers who fled days ago have been made based on Rajesh´s narration.
Rajesh has committed suicide after describing physical features of his three friends.