What are the odds of survival of a forest guard armed with a bolt-action rifle of WWII vintage while facing a poacher armed with an HK MP5 submachine gun? By the time he cocks his rifle and takes aim, his opponent would have shot him 100 times. This probably explains why the rhino and its defenders are unsafe in Assam. In less than two months, eight rhinos have been killed in the state, four of them in a just a week. Last year, the count was 21.
Often pulled up for their ineptitude, the foresters face insurmountable odds. An officer in Assam says they have been battling poachers with.315 bore and 12 bore guns and 7.62mm 2A1 bolt-action rifles (erroneously referred to as .303). These weapons are good to scare off wild animals, but are useless against poachers with AK rifles.