Aranya Suraksha Samiti, an environmental group from Assam, has urged chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma to delete Rajiv Gandhi from the name of Orang National Park. 

The group has demanded that the Rajiv Gandhi Orang National Park be renamed as Orang National Park only. 

General Secretary of Aranya Suraksha Samiti – Dr Hari Charan Das has sent a memorandum in this regard to the Assam chief minister on August 13.  

As per the petition, Orang Wildlife Sanctuary was renamed after former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1985, but in 1996 a campaign was launched to restore the name of the Sanctuary and upgrade it as a national park. 

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In 1999, the name was restored and it was upgraded as Orang National Park.  

However. in 2001, the then Tarun Gogoi-led Congress Government renamed the Park as Rajiv Gandhi Orang National Park.  

“The name of the Former PM will always be written in golden words in the history of India, but it is irrelevant to name the national park after him,” the memorandum contended.  

The Orang National Park, with a core area of over 79 sq km is home to 101 one-horned rhinos (2018 figures) and 24 majestic Royal Bengal Tigers besides a treasure trove of avian and aquatic species. 

Shajid Khan

Shajid Khan is Northeast Now Correspondent in Udalguri. He can be reached at: itsshajidkhan@gmail.com