Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president K. Sudhakaran has blamed the Left Democratic Front government for the death of Ajeesh at Chaligaddha near Mananthavady in Wayanad district after he was attacked by a radio-collared wild elephant, which entered Kerala from Karnataka.
He was talking to the media after attending an interactive session held as part of the ‘Samaragni’ protest march being taken out from Kasaragod to Thiruvananthapuram.
Mr. Sudhakaran told the media in Kozhikode on February 12 (Monday) that the incident was a proof of the inefficiency of the Forest Department and the incapability of the Minister who is handling it. “It is learnt that the department was aware of the movement of the elephant two days before the incident. Officials from Karnataka had intimated it already. But it was not properly examined. If that had happened, the death could have been averted. Even after the death, A.K. Saseendran, the Minister, did not bother to visit the place,” he said. Mr. Sudhakaran also alleged that the government was hiding official reports on the number of people who were killed by elephants and tigers in recent years. He demanded that the government devise a mechanism to prevent the phenomenon of wild animals straying into human habitats using modern technology and equipment.
Asked about N.K. Premachandran, United Democratic Front MP, attending a lunch hosted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Congress leader said that there was nothing wrong with it. He claimed that rumours about Mr. Premachandran joining hands with the BJP were incorrect as the latter had been one of the fiercest critics of the Centre inside and outside Parliament.
Earlier, people from different walks of gave memorandums to Mr. Sudhakaran, who suggested to the district Congress leadership to set up a panel of legal experts to address some of the issues. Those who spoke included employees of the now defunct Comtrust weaving factory, who sought steps for the government takeover of the institution; merchants of Palayam fruit and vegetable market who are opposing its relocation to Kalluthankadavu; residents of Kothi and Avikkal Thodu who are opposed to the setting up of sewage treatment plants in their area; along with fishers, dairy farmers, and rubber farmers.