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Field equipment provided to VDPs near Kaziranga National Park

GUWAHATI:  A number of Village Defence Parties (VDPs) from fringe areas of Kaziranga National Park (KNP) and Tiger Reserve in Assam have been actively coordinating with wildlife protection personnel from Assam Forest Department and state police force.

The members of VDPs risk their life while guarding their villages in an area where armed poachers of wildlife are often on the prowl. The VDPs pose as the first barrier for the wildlife criminals exploring opportunities to sneak into the national park to poach rhinos and other animals.

Moreover, these VDPs are instrumental in monitoring movement of wild animals in fringe areas of national parks and averting direct conflict between man and animal more often than not.

Sikoni Khelmati and Bamuni VDPs under Jakhalabandha Police Station in Nagaon district are two such VDPs which have been playing a pro-active role in protection of wildlife in and around Kaziranga National Park (KNP).

Aaranyak, a biodiversity conservation and research organisation, which has been working in the region since 1989 in the field of wildlife conservation and research based support to conservation efforts, on Thursday facilitated distribution of some essential field equipment to 14 members of VDPs of Sikoni Khelmati and Bamuni villages in order to give a boost to their sustained efforts.

Sub-Divisional Police Office (SDPO) of Kaliabor, Mriganka Das distributed the materials to VDP members in Jakhalabandha Police Station in presence of  Officer-in-Charge (OC), Nipu Kalita and members of Aaranyak’s team based in Kaziranga National Park including Arif  Hussain and  Sanjib Kumar Bezbaruah.

The field equipment distributed among the VDP members on Thursday included shoes, raincoats and torch lights.

Aaranyak has been striving to support the VDPs in fringe areas of the National Park so that they can continue to complement the efforts of Forest Department and the State Police in curbing wildlife crimes in the area.

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