Guwahati: Assam government has set up 152 forest camps inside Kaziranga National park to increase protection for the highly endangered one-horned rhinos and other animals from poachers.
According to forest department sources, the camps, set up recently will be manned by about six guards each of whom will be armed with .303 and .305 rifles besides vigilance arrangements on elephant and on foot, forest department sources said.
Apart from forest guards, 170 armed security guards have been deployed inside the national park, a world heritage site, along with personnel from Assam Forest Protection Force.
The state home department had also provided 200 additional .303 rifles, while permission has been granted to provide the guards with weapons like AK47 rifles to fight the poachers who often have state-of-the-art firepower to target the animals, the sources said.
Vacant posts have been filled up in park. The new recruits include 34 foresters, 117 forest guards, eight mahouts, two boatmen and 35 "ghasis" (elephant grass cutters), the sources said adding four engine boat-cum-floating camps have been provided for vigilance along Brahmaputra river which passes through the park.
Committees - Prevention of Rhino Poaching and Wildlife Crime Control of Golaghat and Sonitpur have been formed to boost conservation measures, the sources added.