Kokrajhar (Assam): 57 poachers of the Raimona National Park surrendered to the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) of Assam on Wednesday. The poachers, who surrendered on the occasion of World Rhino Day, were presented with a cheque of ₹50,000 each to help sustain their livelihood.
"57 poachers surrendered along with arms in a village near Raimona National Park. They were given cheques of ₹50,000 each. More financial support is to be given. We urge others to surrender," Pramod Boro, Chief Executive Member of BTC, Assam said.
Also Read | World Rhino Day: A majestic animal on the brink of extinction
"Ever since Raimona has been declared to be a national park, the poachers do not want to hunt anymore and are therefore surrendering. To honour this step taken by them and to protect their livelihood, the government is planning to further give an amount of ₹1.20 lakhs to help them set up new businesses," he added.
World Rhino Day is observed on 22 September every year to create awareness around five species of rhinos, including the one-horned rhinoceros found in India. Almost 70% of the global population of the latter is found in Kaziranga National Park in Assam.
Boro further informed that two handloom factories will also be set up in the area to offer employment. Meanwhile, the Assam government burned around 2,500 rhino horns to mark World Rhino Day.
The rhino horns were burned at Bokakhat, Assam's Golaghat district, near Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve (KNPTR) to bust myths associated with it. The state government decided to destroy 2,479 rhino horns while 94 horns were preserved for academic purposes.
Notably, Raimona in Kokrajhar district was declared as Assam's sixth national park on World Environment Day this year.
Also Read | On International Red Panda Day, a look at a species in peril