The growing number of incidents of rhinoceros poaching in North Bengal has become a major cause of concern for the senior forest department officials.
Criminal Investigation Department (CID) started an inquiry into the death of a rhino whose body was recovered by the forest department officials at the Sukna jungle under Kurseong division few months ago. CID was assigned to investigate the matter but they are yet to arrest anybody in this connection. While in another case CID had been able to arrest the culprits in connection with killing of a rhino in Jaldapara that had taken place few months ago. On Monday the CID arrested one Sattar Mian the main accused who was allegedly involved in killing a rhino at Jaldapara. According to the state forest department officials the accused Sattar was involved in poaching many rhinos in North Bengal. The investigating officers suspect that he was part of an international poaching racket. A senior forest department official said that seven rhinos were poached in different parts of North Bengal last year where the accused were allegedly involved. A senior forest department official said that the poachers smuggled rhino horns to China via Bhutan. Police came to know that Sattar used to run a racket in North Bengal while there is another racket operational from Assam.
North Bengal was the hub for rhinoceros during the British period. It had become the custom to kill them for pleasure.
It was said that an honest British officer was a person who would join breakfast table after killing rhino. The police officers were considered as successful after he killed a rhino. The native princess would also join this club and things turned from bad to worse leading to almost the extinction of the species.
The state government has taken special measures to preserve the rhino giving stringent punishment to the poacher caught with rhino horns. It may be mentioned that the state government adopted a two pronged approach to deal with the menace.