Assam: Jumbo used by timber smugglers for transporting logs killed in
gunfight in Dehing Patkai National Park (India)
Avik Chakraborty, Northeast Now
July 21, 2021
An elephant was killed in a gunfight between timber smugglers and forest
guards at Joypur range in Dehing-Patkai National park in Upper Assam’s
The incident took place at Basabnalla in Hakunguri beat near the
Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border on July 19.
On Tuesday morning, forest officials found the carcass of the elephant.
Sources said people from the Arunachal Pradesh side constantly encroaching
Assam land and most of the time, the timber smuggler entering Dehing-Patkai
forest and cut valuable trees.
“The forest guards got information that timber smugglers were slashing
trees by using machines. They immediately went to the area. After
witnessing the guards, the timber smugglers started firing on them. The
forest guards retaliated. The elephant which they brought to transport the
logs was killed in the gunfight,” said Pradipto Baruah, Divisional Forest
“The timber smugglers were from Arunachal Pradesh side and were using
machines to cut trees. Even, NSCN is also involved in the cutting down of
the Assam forest. We are carrying out regular patrolling in the area but
sometimes the timber smuggler takes advantage of the darkness to cut
trees,” he said.
“We have conducted the post-mortem of the elephant on Tuesday and as per
SOP, the caracas was disposed of,” Baruah said.
Mridu Paban Phukan, an environmentalist said that for many years, smugglers
from the Arunachal Pradesh side have been involved in the practice of
cutting down trees located on the Assam side.
“Many a time, the matter was brought into notice but nothing has been done
to resolve the issue. The timber smugglers enter the forest area of Assam
during broad daylight with machines to cut the trees. Many illegal sawmills
are functioning along the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border area,” he said.
“The forest protection team is stationed at Dibrugarh, however, they don’t
come here to protect forest resources. If things like this continue then
one day, the forest will be cleared by the timber smugglers,” he alleged.
“The people from Arunachal Pradesh have been encroaching Assam land for
many years. But the Assam government failed to take any concrete step to
free the land from encroachers. Earlier, the area near the Assam-Arunachal
Pradesh border was rich in vegetation, but now the timber smuggler is
slashing down valuable trees of Assam every day with the help of machines,”