Guwahati:  Protect, not poach- the memo clearly did not reach Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), a prominent political party from Assam. An ally party of the BJP-led Assam government has picked up a rhino poacher to contest in upcoming panchayat polls in Assam.

The audacious move has shocked many who are still protesting the brutal murder of tigress Avni recently. According to reports, AGP has given party ticket to Ganesh Doley, who has been previously arrested on many occasions for his alleged involvement in rhino poaching and illegal wildlife trade. 

The party is now facing severe criticism across the following awarding poll candidature to a tainted person.

Ganesh Doley had already filed his nomination papers for the post of president of Moridhansiri Village Panchayat under Bokakhat assembly constituency in Golaghat district and the assembly constituency is now represented by AGP president and Assam agriculture minister Atul Bora.

Ganesh Doley was first arrested by police in 2012 for his alleged involvement in rhino poaching incident in Kaziranga National Park. A case (no – 7/2012) was registered at Rongmongwe police station in Karbi Anglong district after police arrested Ganesh Doley and one more person named Chandra Doley for their alleged involvement in rhino hunting in Kaziranga. Police had recovered a. 32 pistol with four rounds of ammunition, .303 gun and .303 rifle with ammunition in their possession.

Doley was also arrested by police in 2014 under Wildlife Protection Act and Arms Act and is currently out on bail. Meanwhile, several rhino hunting cases against the AGP candidate are now under trial in Golaghat district court.

Assam based environmental organisation Aaranyak and few others are obviously livid and have come down heavily on AGP. However, AGP MLA and party general secretary Ramendra Narayan Kalita said that Doley is just an accused person who hasn’t been convicted yet. He said, “We haven’t awarded party candidature to any criminal person convicted by the court.”