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Former Assam Cong MLA demands probe into rhino deaths

Assam , 2019-11-30 12:41 PM
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Former two-time Assam's Jorhat MLA Rana Goswami on Friday called for a CBI review of over 500 rhinos deaths in the state over the past four years.

Addressing media at the Congress office of the Jorhat District Unit, Goswami, also AICC secretary, said about 564 rhinos have died in the past four years, according to data given to wildlife activist Ranjan Kumar Medhi.

Following his request under the Right to Information Act, Medhi had been given this information by the Forest Department.

Goswami, quoting Medhi, said that as such a large number of one-horned rhinos, an endangered species, had died, mostly in Kaziranga National Park and some in Pobitara Wildlife Sanctuary and Manas National Park, the Sarbananda Sonowal-led government would propose a CBI study to investigate the causes of rhinos' demise.

Although mentioning that if nothing was to be concealed, the government would preserve transparency and order a CBI inquiry to find out the exact causes of death, whether due to natural or unnatural causes.

He also requested that the state government release a White Paper on the issue detailing the rhinos ' cause of death as the truth should be known to people.

He sought to make the total number of rhinos in Assam's wild habitats public at the earliest by the Forest Department.

Goswami said both a CBI probe and publishing of a White Paper would make the matter clear.

Goswami alleged that the Government was keeping the figure of rhino deaths under wraps.

The AICC secretary pointed out that the BJP before coming to power, had made rhino deaths, mainly due to poaching during the previous Congress government’s rule a big poll issue.

“It is now their turn to come clean on the matter,” he said.

Criticizing the Sarbananda Sonowal-led Government’s decision to contribute Rs 30 crore towards hosting the 65th Filmfare Awards in Guwahati in February next year, Goswami said the amount to be spent on the awards function could have been used to re-open the paper mills in Cachar and Jagiroad.

“Employees and their families of the mills are spending days in penury as they were out of jobs and salaries pending for a long period of time,” he sad.

“BJP which had promised to revive the mills seems to have forgotten the plight of the workers,” Goswami alleged.

Goswami also flayed the recent tour abroad by ATDC Chairman in the name of promoting Assam tourism at the cost of taxpayer’s money.

He observed that such kind of visits to foreign nations by officials incurring huge expenses of government money was not going to contribute in tourism promotion.

Making Priyanka Chopra as a brand ambassador of Assam Tourism by spending Rs 2.3 crores was also a ‘flop show’, he said.

The former legislator further took the State Government to task over the Government’s proposed move to privatize the power sector.

Updated by: News Sources 2019-11-30 12:41 PM