Elephant deaths: Jerahalli forest rangeofficer placed under suspension

Forest guard, personnel in the range to face action for laxity in patrolling

February 29, 2020 10:00 pm | Updated 10:00 pm IST - ERODE

Forest personnel removing the electric fence at a farm land in Karalavadi village at Talavadi in Erode on Saturday.

Forest personnel removing the electric fence at a farm land in Karalavadi village at Talavadi in Erode on Saturday.

A day after two wild elephants were electrocuted at a farm land in Karalavadi village at Talavadi, Jerahalli forest range officer Kantephen was placed under suspension on Saturday.

V. Naganathan, Chief Conservator of Forest and Field Director, Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve (STR), issued orders placing Kantephen under suspension. He also directed the Hasanur Division Forest Officer and Deputy Director K.V. Appala Naidu to initiate action against forest guard and forest personnel in the range for failing to carry-out patrolling in the area.

On Friday, a six-year-old male elephant and a five-year-old female elephant had come into contact with an electric fence put up around and inside a sugar cane field belonging to V. Karuppasamy. The field is located around five km from Jerahalli Forest Range in Hasanur Forest Division. The elephants had reportedly entered the field in the late hours of Thursday.

On Saturday, forest officials removed the electric fencing installed at the farmland. During inquiry, it was found that farmer had erected the fence around his three-acre land and inside the field to keep wild boars away. Power supply to the fence was drawn from the main electric box. Earlier in the day, villagers questioned the forest officials for failing to ensure measures to prevent wild animals from entering farmlands in the area. They said that their crops were frequently damaged by wild animals and sought adequate compensation. Later, police personnel were posted at the spot.

A team led by K. Ashokan, wildlife veterinary surgeon at Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve (STR), autopsied the carcasses and buried them in the same location.

A special team has been formed to nab the farmer, who is at large.

Based on a complaint lodged by N. Mahendran, Assistant Executive Engineer, Tangedco, Talavadi, the police have registered a case under Sections 135 (i) (a) and 138 (c) of the Indian Electricity Act, 2003.

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