Guwahati: Bringing hope for wildlife and forest conservation, over 250 poachers and 300 timber smugglers surrendered before the BTC administration in the Chirang district of Assam on Saturday (October 2). On the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti and wildlife week, the poachers and timber smugglers decided to return to the mainstream, leaving behind the criminal activity of poaching and timber smuggling. Wildlife lovers of the state believe that the surrender of 565 poachers and timber smugglers will begin a new era of forest and wildlife conservation in the Bodo Territorial Region (BTR) and Assam.
The poachers surrendered 254 handmade rifles, ammunition, and animal trophies. Taking to Twitter, chief minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma said, "Dawn of a new era for wildlife & forest conservation.Thanks to the Bodo Territorial Council (BTC) Administration, 264 poachers surrendered at Chirang with arms & animal trophies. They are getting a rehab package with immediate relief of ₹50K each. 300 + timber smugglers also surrendered in the presence of BTR Chief Pramod Boro."
Earlier in September, 58 poachers surrendered before the BTC administration. These poachers were mainly active in Manas and orang national parks. After their surrender, the BTC administration gave them 50 thousand rupees under the rehabilitation scheme. Further, the BTC administration promised to create suitable arrangements for their livelihood.
Taking to Twitter, BTC chief Pramod Bodo said, "A fitting tribute to Gandhiji on his Jayanti as 264 poachers & 300 timber smugglers surrendered their arms and equipment at a programme in Chirang today. We welcome their decision to shun illegal activities on this auspicious day & choose to live life with dignity."