In connection with the death of a French female tourist at Bokkapuram, adjacent to the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, three persons have been arrested. The tourist Del Yotel Annie had been trampled to death when she was photographing a herd of wild elephants early on Friday. Her son Fredrick Jean Lue (39) had also been injured.
Speaking to journalists on Saturday, the Superintendent of Police - the Nilgiris, Kapil Kumar C.Saratkar said that Joji Philip (47), Manager of the Blue Valley Resort at Bokkapuram - where the tourists were staying - has been arrested. Resort guides E. George (36) and S. Raju (27) who had accompanied the tourists on the trek through the elephant corridor have also been arrested. The resort has been closed and a case registered against it.
All the resorts in the area have been told not to take foreign or domestic tourists into the forests. If they do not comply, action will be initiated under the Forest Act and the Criminal Procedure Code. Henceforth the police should be informed of the arrival and departure of foreign tourists.
The Field Director, Mudumalai Tiger Reserve Rajiv K.Srivastava said that though the incident did not take place within the reserve, the circumstances which led to it will be thoroughly analysed and a set of Dos and Don'ts put in place for those organising trekking activities.
The incident has once again illustrated that people are responsible for the escalating man-wild animal conflict.