Guwahati: Assam government on Wednesday (September 22) set on fire 2479 rhino horns in Bokakhat near Kaziranga National Park. The government said this move has been taken to send the message that the rhino horn doesn't have any medicinal value and is just a part of the rhinoceros body. Poachers in Assam killed hundreds of horn rhinos, especially in Kaziranga, for its horn.
In many South Asian countries, people believe that rhino horn has medicinal value, and it is worth millions in the international market. The rhino horns were preserved in state treasuries for decades, and the Assam government last week decided to burn the horns. In a function organised near Kaziranga in the presence of Assam chief minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma, the forest department set on fire a total of 2479 rhino horns.
The program started with chanting of slokas from Veda by 21 priests. The horns were set on fire using chemical explosives fired from a drone. The ashes of the burnt horns will be immersed in the river Brahmaputra. Speaking on occasion, chief minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma said, "The horns don't have any medicinal value. It has been proved in research. We want to send across the message that poaching rhinos for the horns is not right. The horn has its value on the head of a living rhino only. So on the occasion of World Rhino Day, our government has taken the brave decision to burn the horns through the Vaidik process. The rhino horns were given state honour and a gun salute by Assam police before it was set on fire using explosives from drones.
" The chief minister further added that the Assam government is committed to provide safeguard to the wildlife of the state. The burning of the horns is like 'antim sanskar' of the dead rhinos which were once pride of the state, he added. The genetic sequence of the burnt horns have been done for scientific research."
Meanwhile, the government has decided to preserve 94 horns in a natural history museum to be set up near Kaziranga. These include the second-longest rhino horn and heaviest rhino horns in the world. The CM mentioned that every year a few rhinos die naturally, and their horns will be set on fire publically. Local MLA and agriculture minister Atul Borah, forest minister Parimal Suklabaidya, health minister Keshab Mahanta, besides top officials of the forest department, were present on occasion.