Admin of Morigaon Orders Investigation Into Pobitora’s Flouting Regulations

Guwahati: An investigation into the alleged rule-breaking by senior Assam officers inside Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary has been ordered by the Morigaon district administration, according to an official on Tuesday.

According to the official, Assam Forest Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary is scheduled to visit the sanctuary today to investigate the situation.

The sanctuary had been visited by two IAS officers, an IPS officer, and their families on Sunday. While others got out of the vehicles, one of the police allegedly smoked cigarettes while sitting on the bonnet of a safari jeep—both activities that are forbidden inside the protected area.

According to a PTI report, the Jeep Safari Owners’ Association of Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary wrote to the Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Monday to request an investigation into the event.

They asserted that a commissioner-level officer, his colleagues, and their families had disembarked from the jeeps within the sanctuary.

They asserted that the commissioner-level officer had smoked cigarettes while sitting on the jeep’s hood.

According to the association, smoking cigarettes and getting out of cars are not permitted inside the wildlife reserve.

It stated that the officers verbally insulted the jeep drivers and other staff members when they attempted to stop the guests.

Local TV stations aired what appeared to be CCTV footage of the police officers and their families within the refuge, including a cigarette being smoked by one of them.

However, PTI was unable to independently confirm the videos’ veracity.

A magistrate-level investigation into the situation was requested by the district deputy commissioner on Monday.

A sanctuary official who spoke on the record under the condition of anonymity stated there had been violations of the regulations governing wildlife preservation if the allegations are genuine.

He stated that the minister of forests would also investigate the claims while he was there.

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