The Assam government decided on Thursday that in order to bust myths about rhino horns and resultant poaching, out of 2,623 horns stockpiled in state treasuries, 2,479 pieces would be destroyed by consigning them to flames in public.
The Assam cabinet also decided that 94 rhino horns would be preserved as heritage pieces for academic purposes, while 50 rhino horns would be preserved for court cases.
Assam Forest and Environment Minister Parimal Suklabaidya said, "A total of 2,623 rhino horns are presently stored in state treasuries in different parts of the state and the Assam cabinet has decided to destroy 2,479 pieces of rhino horns publicly."
“Several court cases are going on in connection with 50 rhino horns. We have decided to preserve 94 rhino horns as heritage pieces for academic and exhibition purposes. We will establish a Natural History Museum in Kaziranga National Park,” the minister added.
Assam government officials verifying rhino horns. (Photo: India Today/Hemanta Kumar Nath)
The Assam government had recently conducted verification of rhino horns stored in different state treasuries in order to reconcile and destroy those, barring the ones linked to court cases or required for scientific and academic purposes.
In 2016, the Assam government had constituted the Rhino Horn Verification Committee to study the specimens kept in 12 treasuries across the state.
Photo: India Today/Hemanta Kumar Nath.
During the verification process, the Rhino Horn Verification Committee had recorded the world’s largest horn weighing 3.051 kg and 36 cm in height. The horn was found in 1982 from a rhino in the Bagori range of Kaziranga National Park.
Earlier, the Assam government had publicly burnt a huge quantity of seized drugs worth Rs 163 crore.