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At least 22 one-horned rhinos were killed by poachers in Assam in the last five years, Environment and Forest Minister Parimal Suklabaidya has said.

In a written reply to a query by AIUDF MLA Sirajuddin Ajmal, Minister Suklabaidya said in the Assam Assembly that 22 rhinos were poached during the period.

The data presented by the government, however, showed that the number of such poaching incidents is decreasing every year.

Nine rhinos were killed in 2017, followed by seven in 2018, three in 2019, two in 2020 and one in 2021, Suklabaidya said.

A total of 644 poachers have been arrested till June 1, and 25 cases were registered against them, he said.

“After proper inquiry, arrests of poachers are made… The Assam government has constituted 10 fast-track session courts for speedy trials of wildlife-related crimes,” the minister said.

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