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CBI plans to go digital to tackle Rhino poaching in Kaziranga

                                                                                              Millennium Post, New Delhi, 18th April, 2013

The Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) is going to use an unique admixture of information regarding the place of defecation by animals and movement of mobile phones in its vicinity to counter poaching of endangered rhinoceros in Kaziranga national park. The Central Bureau of Investigations is planning to use Digital Forensics technique to investigate the recent killings of Rhinos in Assam. This is the first time that such a technique will be used to probe a case relating to wildlife.

On 9 April, the CBI had registered three cases after reports of poaching of 16 Rhinos already this year in Assam. Senior CBI officials said that the process of digital forensics is to preserve any evidence in its most original form while performing a structured investigation by collecting, identifying and validating the digital information for the purpose of reconstructing past events.

Joint Director, CBI, Keshav Kumar who was instrumental in cracking the Shehla Masood case, explained, ‘Basically digital forensics we mean mobile forensics. Suppose someone who is not a frequent visitor comes to jungle. We pick up suspicious numbers from the identified mobile towers of the area under probe. Then we scrutinize those number and try to find a trail. It helps us as we can back our oral evidence with the electronic one in nailing the accused.'

He added, 'In case of Rhinos there is a tendency that they defaecate at the same place. With the help of tower dump analysis we can pick up such numbers who are in their vicinity and pick up a trail.' Kumar is scheduled to train Kaziranga officials about the new technique next week.

Poachers had killed 22 rhinos last year, but the number has already reached 16 this year. These poaching took place during July and September in 2012. Sources had earlier said that the use of type-2 AK-47 rifle known as Kalashnikov is what had astonished the local police and the CBI. There were also reports that wildlife authorities are using aerial drones to oversee the sprawling natural game park to protect the one-horned rhinoceros from armed poachers.