JORHAT, October 1: A businessman from Assam’s Karbi Anglong district, who was arrested for his involvement in rhino horn smuggling two days ago, told Kaziranga National Park authorities on Wednesday that he had sold a broken piece of horn to a former MLA in Nagaland in August.
“The man, identified as Mansingh Terang of Diphu in Karbi Anglong district, confessed to selling a broken piece of rhino horn to a former MLA in Nagaland. He also met the wife of the ex-legislator while handing it over,” assistant conservator of forest Pirai B said.
Terang was arrested from Diphu, the headquarters of Karbi Anglong district, on Monday.
Pirai added, “Terang is a reputed contractor and a businessman in Diphu. He was also involved with several socio-cultural activities in the hill district.” Over the past few days, Kaziranga forest staff have arrested 11 rhino horn smugglers. Among them are two staffers of Kaziranga and three social workers associated with various wildlife protection and conservation activities at the national park.
DFO (Kaziranga) Ramesh Gogoi said the rhino horn was initially recovered by two forest staffers – Habibur Rahman and Ashok Bhuyan – during patrolling. Subsequently, they handed over the horn to Rameswar Signar, a social worker, in Ingley Pathar village of Karbi Anglong district, close to Kaziranga, he added.
Rameswar, with the help of two others, then gave it to Terang who later sold it to the former Nagaland MLA.
“Our investigation is on to recover the horn. We believe the probe is on the right track and some political leaders in Nagaland may get exposed,” said a forest officer who is engaged in the investigation. (TNN)