Farmer arrested for electrocution death of elephant in Erode’s Talavadi Hills

The female elephant was killed on Sunday, November 26, 2023, when it came into contact with a live-wire fence the farmer had erected to protect his crops

Published - November 27, 2023 04:50 pm IST - ERODE

A farmer in Talavadi Hills in Erode district, who had erected a live-wire fence to protect his crops, and which killed a female elephant that came into contact with it on Sunday, November 26, 2023, was arrested by the Forest Department on Monday.

On Sunday morning, residents of Ikkalur village, near the Talavadi forest range of the Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve (STR), found the elephant dead and alerted the range office. Officials inspected the spot and found the carcass of the elephant on land owned by a farmer, Mahadevasamy. Inquiries revealed that the elephant attempted to enter the maize field and came into contact with the live wire fence, and was electrocuted. The farmer and two other farm owners of nearby land were detained by the Forest Department staff.

When a team led by S. Sadasivam, wildlife veterinarian of STR, attempted to perform an autopsy on the carcass, village residents staged a sit-in-protest. They wanted the release of the three farmers who had been detained for inquiries. They also said that even before an inquiry had been completed, the Forest Department staff had concluded that the elephant had died due to electrocution. Since the protest continued, an autopsy was not performed on Sunday.

On Monday, Ravi Shankar, Tahsildar, Gobichettipalayam and V. Thangavel, Deputy Superintendent of Police, held talks with the village residents, who wanted elephant proof trenches to be strengthened. After the talks, the residents withdrew their protest, and an autopsy that was performed as per the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change guidelines and the Elephant Death Audit Framework. The carcass was buried at the spot. Police personnel were present to prevent untoward incidents.

Meanwhile, a case was registered against the farmer Mahadevasamy and he was arrested. He was produced at a court and lodged at prison. The other two farmers were released by the police after questioning.

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