Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma is preparing to lead the burning of rhino horns in a massive programme at Bokakhat, following the burning of drugs in the open.
World Rhino Day to be commemorated by burning of rhino horns
A total of 2,479 rhino horns will be removed from the wild and disposed of.
A team of experts inspected the rhino horns that were kept in government treasuries in the states of Morigaon and Barpeta as well as Guwahati and Tezpur.
The rhino horn burning ceremony, which is set for Wednesday, is sure to be a big show, with 10 ministers, CEMs of BTC, KAAC, and other high-ranking officials, including Asam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma, all attending.
Important ministers to grace the event
Forest Minister Parimal Suklabaidya, Panchayat & Rural Development Minister Ranjeet Kumar Dass, Agriculture Minister Atul Bora, Handloom & Textile Minister UG Brahma, and Transport Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary will attend the programme as guests of honour.
Health Minister Keshab Mahanta, Revenue Minister Jogen Mohan, Finance Minister Ajanta Neog, and Water Resources Minister Pijush Hazarika will also be present at the ceremony.
Tuliram Ronghang, chief executive member (CEM) of the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council (KAAC), and Pramod Boro, CEM of the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC), will also be present at the huge event.
Video presentation of worldwide conservationists’ speeches included in the ceremony
The movement of rhino horns from the Bokakhat Treasury to the Bokakhat Parade Ground will begin at 7:30 a.m., according to the programme.
Following the arrival of the rhino horns, the flags of four rhino-bearing protected areas will be raised. At 9:30 a.m., chief guest and chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma will arrive at the Bokakhat parade site.
Dr Alka Bhargava, principal chief conservator of forest (PCCF) and head of forest force (HoFF), Assam, will deliver the welcome address.
There will also be a video presentation of worldwide conservationists’ speeches.
They will view the rhino horns after speeches by the chief guest and other dignitaries, and chief guest Sarma will lead the symbolic charging of the furnaces.
Dr. AMit Sahai, PCCF, will give the vote of gratitude (Wildlife).
Assam known for world’s highest population of greater one-horned rhinos
Assam contains the world’s highest population of greater one-horned rhinos (Rhinoceros unicornis), as per the forest department.
They can be found in Kaziranga, Manas, and Orang National Parks, as well as the Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary, with around 2,600 individuals.
They had previously been discovered in the Laokhowa Wildlife Sanctuary and other areas of the state, ranging from Goalpara in the west to Dibru-Saikhowa National Park in the east.
Rhino horn is essentially a clump of compacted hair consisting of Keratin, a protein found in our hair and fingernails.
Horns taken from rhinos that have died naturally are maintained in the forest department’s possession.
Myths around rhino horns
Traditional Chinese medicine uses ground rhino horn to treat a variety of diseases, including cancer and hangovers, as well as as an aphrodisiac. Possessing a rhino horn is considered a prestige symbol in Vietnam.
“Poaching pressure on rhinos is constantly persistent in these countries due to demand, and one cannot let one’s guard down,” the forest agency warned.
Rhino horn reconciliation abstract
2623 rhino horns have been reconciled.
2479 rhino horns have been designated for destruction.
94 rhino horns have been designated for preservation.
Genuine horns have been linked in 19 court cases, while fake horns have been implicated in ten.
African horns and imitation horns have been reconciled.
According to the forest department, the longest horn measured 57 cm anterior curvature and 42.5 cm standing height, and the largest horn weighed 3.05 kg.
Rhino reunification and extinction
The Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 allows for the destruction of wildlife trophies (including rhino horn) under Section 39(3) (c), which states, “No individual shall destroy or damage such government property without the prior written approval of the Chief Wildlife Warden or the approved officer.”