Guwahati: The government of Assam burned 2,479 rhino horns on September 22 on account of the World Rhino Day. The objective of this initiative was to send a strong message and to bust the myth that rhino horns are storehouses of medicinal properties.

Assam Chief minister Hemanta Biswa Sarma show the horn the burning them during ceremonial destruction of Rhino horn at Bokakhat stadium in Golaghat district of Assam, Wednesday, 22 September 2021. PIX BY – RUPJYOTI SARMAH

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma was present at the Busting Myth About Rhino Horns, and Public Destruction of Largest Stockpile of Horns of Greater One-Horned Rhinos event held at the sporting field in Bokakhat, Assam.

“Today is a historic day for Assam & India. We have taken an extraordinary step of burning stockpile of 2479 horns of single-horned Rhinos, first-of-its-kind globally in volume terms, pursuing vision of Hon PM Sri @narendramodi of putting an end to poaching in Assam,” wrote the minister in a tweet.

“One-horned rhino is not only integral to our civilisation, but also a symbol of our prized heritage and identity. We are preserving 94 rhino horns for display at a museum to be set up at Kaziranga National Park. The use of rhinos’ horns for medicinal purposes is a myth,” added the Assam CM.

As many as six giant gas furnaces, each with three tiers were in place to burn the horns which have been preserved for years.

Forest officials burning them during ceremonial destruction of Rhino horn at Bokakhat stadium in Golaghat district of Assam, Wednesday, 22 September 2021. PIX BY – RUPJYOTI SARMAH

A statement issued by Assam Environment Minister Parimal Suklabaidya on Tuesday stated, “This is the largest public destruction of the stockpile of horns of the Greater One-Horned rhino and is aimed to propagate and reinforce the fact that rhino’s horns do not have any medicinal value.”

“Rhino horns from Barpeta, Morigan, Barpeta, Mangaldoi, Tezpur Nagaon, BTR, Golaghat, and Kohora have been deposited in the Bokakhat treasury,” M K Yadava, Principal Chief Conservator of Forest and HoF, Assam Forest Department said earlier.

On September 16, the state cabinet unanimously decided to publicly burn 2,479 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.



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