Guwahati, Mar 20 : : Assam forest guards will soon be equipped with India made AK-Ghatak like modern sophisticated weapons to fight poachers and protect wild animals.
Assam Forest minister Pramila Rani Brahma has said the state Government has started the process for purchasing AK-Ghatak like Indian made weapons for fo the states forest guards.
The forest guards will also be equipped with SLR, LMG, 303 rifles and other modern equipment, Brahma said.
While poachers use modern weapons, the state forest guards are still using old- fashioned arms. The forest guards face lots of problems during anti-poaching operation, Brahma said.
Pramila Rani Brahma, who is also known as the Assam Forest Queen for her activities to protect wild animals, including the world framed one horned rhinoceros and counter operation against poachers said steps are also afoot to recruit 112 armed personnel of the Special Rhino Protection Force (SRPF).
After getting approval from the Union Home Ministry, the Assam police have started the recruitment process and we hope that 112 posts will be filled up soon, the state Forest Minister said.
Apart from this, the state forest department will fill up 500 vacant posts for Forest battalion, Brahma said.
The Minister said the forest department and Kaziranga National Park (KNP) authority have formed six anti-poaching squads at Burhapahar area near the national park with support from the local villagers.
It is a good news that, the nearby villagers of KNP have come out to fight against poachers and have formed anti-poaching squads, Brahma said.
Assam has lost more than 200 one horned rhinos due to poaching in the past a decade.
(Reporting by Hemanta Kumar Nath)