Guwahati: In what was the most embarrassing moment for the Assam forest minister Pramila Rani Brahama on Wednesday when she was reviewing the conservation effort at Kaziranga national Park, poachers chose to strike and kill a female rhino in the Agoratoli range of the national park, leaving the entire forest department red-faced.
The aftermath of the incident was more embarrassing as a section of forest officials reportedly tried to destroy the carcass with chemical and salts in order to cover up their failure. As the incident came to the notice of the forest minister from different sources, she rushed to Agoratoli range in the night itself and tried to recover the carcass, which was yet to be recovered.
The angry minister said, “I don't know why the incident was not reported to me. They (forest officials) should have told me. As it was still daytime (the time of the incident), I could have activated NGOs and community people and we could have tried to nab the poachers.”
Apart from the forest minister, agriculture minister Atul Bora, water resources minister Keshab Mahanta and five other MLAs were also present at the park during that time.
Pointing out that local villagers who raised alarm after hearing three gunshots at about 3.30 pm, park authorities said that forest minister was on a two-day visit to the national park on Wednesday. Ms Brahma, accompanied by the water Resources minister, visited the erosion-hit areas of Kaziranga on Thursday.