Guwahati: At least 22 one-horned rhinoceros were killed by poachers in Assam in the last five years, the state assembly was informed on Wednesday.

In a written reply to a query by AIUDF MLA Sirajuddin Ajmal, Environment and Forest Minister Parimal Suklabaidya said 22 rhinos were poached during the period.

The data presented by the government, however, showed that the number of such poaching incidents is decreasing every year.

Nine rhinos were killed in 2017, followed by seven in 2018, three in 2019, two in 2020 and one in 2021, Suklabaidya informed the House.

Altogether, 644 rhino poachers have been arrested in Assam till June 1, and 25 cases were registered against them, he said.

“After proper inquiry, arrests of poachers are made… The Assam government has constituted 10 fast-track session courts for speedy trials of wildlife-related crimes,” the minister said.

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