Guwahati: Under fire over the recent rhino killings at Kaziranga, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Sunday said a state Wildlife Crime Control Bureau would be set up to deal with poaching and smuggling of animal products.
He said the state government would soon bring out a white paper on wildlife and forest conservation giving details of the work carried out by his government and previous regimesm which, he claimed, will prove that charges made by opposition parties like BJP and Asom Gana Parishad were false.
"We will form a State Wildlife Crime Control Bureau. Poaching has happened and we are taking the issue seriously," Gogoi told reporters here.
He said that "involvement of extremist groups have been noticed in poaching of rhinos", but did not elaborate.
"Some people are trying to play politics over the poaching of rhinos. That is unfortunate," he said.
Gogoi said, "We plan to involve local communities in the area of Kaziranga National Park and Manas and form Animal Defence Parties, on the lines of Village Defence Committees. We are also eager to involve NGOs for wildlife conservation."
Gogoi said so far in 2012, a total of 14 rhinos have been poached in Kaziranga, while another 27 have died due to drowning during the three waves of flood.
He refuted suggestions of encroachment of land at KNP by suspected Bangladeshi illegal immigrants.
"There is no encroachment in the core reserve area. However, there might be instances of encroachment in those areas which have been acquired for expansion of the KNP but are yet to be handed over to the Kaziranga Authority," he added.
"We will not allow any encroachment and evict anybody found to have encroached land in the national park," he said.