Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh has urged Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi to order an inquiry into the death of four elephants in six days on the fringes of the Kaziranga National Park and take the most stringent action against those responsible. He has offered the State any help it may need from the Centre in this regard.

In a letter to Mr. Gogoi, Mr. Ramesh said he was most “distressed” and “shocked” at the deaths and expressed an apprehension that the elephants might have been poisoned.

“I had visited this park recently, and that is why I was even more anguished by the news. I understand that the elephants may have been poisoned,” he said.

Park authorities suspect that the elephants might have been poisoned and are awaiting forensic examination reports. Besides lodging an FIR with the police, they have started their own probe.