Over 2,000 airguns and a few rifles have so far been voluntarily surrendered by the people who willingly vowed not to hunt birds and animals, Environment and Forest Minister of Arunachal Pradesh, Mama Natung said.

Natung said that community hunting has existed in Arunachal Pradesh for centuries.

“We did not enact a law and force our people. Instead, we created awareness and asked them to surrender their guns and airguns voluntarily. More than 2,000 airguns and few rifles have been surrendered to date, which is a big success for the campaign. The campaign should not be limited to Arunachal Pradesh alone, the entire country should follow this model for a better future,” Natung said in Silchar on Friday

Assam Forest Minister Parimal Suklabaidya said that he would propose to the state government to create a new wildlife sanctuary with an area of 320 sq km in southern Assam, also called the Barak Valley.

He said that recently the Assam government has declared Dihing-Patkai (in eastern Assam) as a national park, which shows the commitment of the state government towards conservation of nature.

Highlighting the urgent need for wildlife conservation in Barak Valley, Lok Sabha member Rajdeep Roy said that the region (southern Assam) is home to 550 species of birds and 100 species of mammals, and steps will be taken to conserve the greenery and protect the wildlife of Barak Valley comprising three districts, Cachar, Karimganj and Hailakhandi.

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