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State alone can�t stop poaching of rhinos: Minister

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Aug 8 - State Forest Minister Pramila Rani Brahma today told the Assembly that State Government alone cannot stop rhino poaching and smuggling of rhino horns to international market and needed the intervention of a �powerful� agency like NIA.

Replying to a zero hour notice by AGP legislator Phanindra Deka, she said that her department is very seriously evaluating the measures that could be taken to stop the international trade of rhino horns, the main reason behind poaching.

�We have held discussions with the experts and the police in this regard. If the NIA accepts our proposal to probe into the incidents, we would move forward in this direction,� she said. �Five rhinos have been killed in the State since the present government took charge,� she added.

Expressing concern at the smuggling of rhino horn and red chandan, she said that snapping the ties with the international market is the only way out. China and Vietnam have the highest demand for rhino horns for medicinal purpose, she said.

Pointing out that NIA might have some legal hurdles in accepting the probe proposal, BJP MLA Padma Hazarika suggested that CBI should probe into the incidents. He further cited the example of Nepal, which has successfully contained rhino poaching incidents.

�The State Government can send a delegation to Nepal to study their best practices, and evaluate whether it can be applied in Assam,� he added.

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State alone can�t stop poaching of rhinos: Minister

GUWAHATI, Aug 8 - State Forest Minister Pramila Rani Brahma today told the Assembly that State Government alone cannot stop rhino poaching and smuggling of rhino horns to international market and needed the intervention of a �powerful� agency like NIA.

Replying to a zero hour notice by AGP legislator Phanindra Deka, she said that her department is very seriously evaluating the measures that could be taken to stop the international trade of rhino horns, the main reason behind poaching.

�We have held discussions with the experts and the police in this regard. If the NIA accepts our proposal to probe into the incidents, we would move forward in this direction,� she said. �Five rhinos have been killed in the State since the present government took charge,� she added.

Expressing concern at the smuggling of rhino horn and red chandan, she said that snapping the ties with the international market is the only way out. China and Vietnam have the highest demand for rhino horns for medicinal purpose, she said.

Pointing out that NIA might have some legal hurdles in accepting the probe proposal, BJP MLA Padma Hazarika suggested that CBI should probe into the incidents. He further cited the example of Nepal, which has successfully contained rhino poaching incidents.

�The State Government can send a delegation to Nepal to study their best practices, and evaluate whether it can be applied in Assam,� he added.

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