Assam to raise new force for rhino protection



The Assam government is going to raise a new Special Rhino Protection Force (SRPF) for better protection of the one-horned rhinos in Assam, a Minister said on Saturday.

Assam Forest Minister Pramila Rani Brahma said the government has already started the process of recruitment for the proposed force, which will be deployed for better protection of the one horned rhinos in the state.

"Recently we have published advertisements for recruitment of 90 youths in the force. After initial selection, they will be given necessary training and the whole process is expected to be completed by August this year," the Minister said.

Brahma said one of the main criteria for selection of cadre for the force is that they have to be locals hailing from the fringe areas of the Kaziranga national park. 

"Youths from three districts Nagaon, Golaghat and Karbi Anglong are encouraged to apply for the force. Our intention is to select only local candidates who know the area better and those who can engage passionately for protection of the rhinos," said the Minister.

She said there will be 22 officers for the proposed force who will be appointed on deputation for leading the force.

The Minister said the Forest Department had already placed orders for procurement of arms and ammunition for the new force through the state Home Department. 

"The arms and ammunition ordered are at par with the AK series rifles and other sophisticated weapons," she said. - IANS