Guwahati, On World Rhino Day, Assam government is all set to burn nearly 2,500 confiscated rhino horns which were stored in treasuries across the state.
Preparations are complete for a unique cremation ceremony, where 2,479 rhino horns will be burnt in the sporting field of Bokakhat, today. As many as six giant gas furnaces, each with three tiers are in place to burn these horns which have been preserved for years.
Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and many of his senior cabinet colleagues will attend the ceremony where burning of the horns will take place following Hindu rituals.
The idea behind the burning of the Rhino horn is that it will help to stop illegal rhino horn trade.
On September 16, the state cabinet unanimously decided to publicly burn 2,467 pieces of rhino horns out of 2,623 rhino horns stock piled in state treasuries. As many as 94 rhino stockpiled rhino horns will be preserved as archive properties for academic purposes while 50 of them would be reserved for court cases. The exercise will be executed in accordance with the relevant section of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and in compliance with a Gauhati High Court order in 2010 that had directed the Assam forest department to hold a public hearing on the proposed burning of the rhino horns.
Assam has the largest population of greater one-horn rhino (Rhinoceros unicornis) in the world numbering about 2,600 and found in Manas and Orang National Parks besides Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary apart from Kaziranga National Park.