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In a first of its kind event, the Assam government on Wednesday, 22 September, burnt 2,479 horns of the greater one-horned rhino on the occasion of World Rhino Day, to bust the myth that the rhino horns possess medicinal properties and hence need not be preserved.
Chief Minister of Assam Himanta Biswa Sarma was present at the event at the sporting field of Bokakhat.
The horns, which were preserved for several years, were burned on Wednesday, using a total of six three-tier giant gas furnaces.
M K Yadava, Principal Chief Conservator of Forest and HoF, Assam Forest Department had earlier said that Rhino horns from Barpeta, Morigan, Barpeta, Mangaldoi, Tezpur Nagaon, BTR, Golaghat, and Kohora were deposited in the Bokakhat treasury.
On 16 September, the state Cabinet had unanimously decided to burn 2,467 pieces of the 2,623 rhino horns stocked at the state's treasuries at this public event.
The state however will be preserving 94 rhino horns as archive properties for academic purposes and 50 for court cases.
On Tuesday, 21 September, Parimal Suklabaidya, the state's Environment Minister said in a statement:
""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 value."" - Parimal Suklabaidya, Assam Environment Minister
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