Two rhino poachers, working with a gang of surrendered militants who were behind the killing of some animals at Kaziranga National Park, have been arrested, police said on Tuesday.
Chandra Doley was arrested on Tuesday and Ganesh Doley on Monday, from Bokakhat by Diphu police station officer in-charge Naba Bora, Karbi Anglong district Superintendent of Police B.B. Chetri told reporters in Diphu on Tuesday.
A .32 pistol with four rounds of ammunition, a .303 gun and a .303 rifle with ammunition were seized from the two poachers, Mr. Chetri said.
The gang was responsible for sawing off the horns of rhinos when the animals were still alive and poaching them, the SP said.
The guns and ammunition were provided by surrendered ultras on rent to the gang for Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 40,000 each, he said, adding that the horns were smuggled out by linkmen through Dimapur in Nagaland to illegal markets in South East Asia.
During interrogation the men allegedly confessed to having killed three elephants and selling the ivory at Rs. 15,000 per kg as well.
Earlier on October 15, 18 members of the gang led by one Lyndoh Rongpi responsible for killing animals between 2009 and 2012, were arrested from Karbi Anglong and an AK-47 rifle, 37 rounds of ammunition, two .303 rifles, seven rounds of ammunition and a gun seized from them.
Two forest employees were also held on the suspicion of involvement in the killings.
So far 44 rhinos have died naturally or due to floods in Assam this year, 19 have been killed by poachers at Kaziranga, while another strayed out and died in Nalbari district.