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Rally route to highlight poaching

The cars that will take part in the rally in Guwahati. Picture by Sumir Karmakar

Guwahati: Nearly 50 cars will join the India Asean Car Rally, 2018, beginning here on Friday and take the route possibly used by rhino poachers to spread awareness against the killings.

The nearly 7,000km rally will traverse the Northeast, Myanmar, Thailand and Laos in 24 days before coming back to Guwahati. It will be flagged off from here on Friday.

The rally, organised by the North East Federation of International Trade (NEFIT), will start from Guwahati and travel through Kohima, Imphal, Kalyemo (Myanmar), Mandalaya, Bagan, Yangon (Myanmar), Bangkok (Thailand),Vientiane (Laos) and back.

Nearly 50 rallyists from different parts of the country will take part. The federation, which works for the promotion of trade and business with the neighbouring countries for years, said the rally is part of the endeavour.

Tata Sons chairman Ratan Tata is likely to attend the closing ceremony on February 3, coinciding with the Advantage Assam Global Business Summit organised by the Assam government. The vehicles have been provided by the Tata group.

"The main aim of the rally is to spread the awareness against the killings of rhinos in Assam. The rally will travel through the route... generally considered the smuggling route of this trade with Southeast Asia," said a statement from the federation.

Nearly 100 rhinos have been killed by poachers, particularly in Kaziranga National Park in Assam in the past six years. At least 15 to 20 rhinos are in the park are poached every year.

Rhino horns are reportedly smuggled through this route to reach markets in Southeast Asia.

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