Concern over elephantattack at Aralam farm

The death of a man in yet another incident of wild elephant attack at Aralam late night on April 5 has raised concern of workers of the Aralam Farm and Adivasi families rehabilitated in tribal resettlement area near the farm.

The deceased has been identified as Vadakkethuruthel Reji (45), who is an employee of the contractor who was awarded the pineapple cultivation work inside the farm run by the Aralam Farm Corporation (Kerala) Ltd. (AFCL).

He was trampled to death inside block 4 of the farm at around 8 p.m. According to farm sources, he was inside the farm with others, including elephant watchers, doing surveillance against straying wild elephants and other wild animals.

When he was found missing and calls to his mobile phones were unanswered, the others searched the area. They found his body with fatal injuries from the elephant attack.

A group of local people staged a protest at the spot insisting that the body would be allowed to be taken to hospital for a post-mortem only if the District Collector visited the spot. The protest ended after some time. The body would be taken for funeral in his native place Valathode on April 7.

This was the fourth incident of death caused by wild elephants in the area in the current year. Nearly a month ago an Adivasi woman had been trampled to death by a wild elephant in the tribal resettlement area which had formed part of the farm.

When contacted, AFCL Managing Director T.K. Viswanathan Nair said the straying wild elephants in the farm area were a source of concern for people working inside the farm and outside. Crops in the farm were also damaged by the elephants and other wild animals, including wild boar and monkeys, he said.

District Congress Committee president Satheeshan Pacheni said in a statement that the government was not acting to ensure protection to life and property of Adivasis living in the Adivasi resettlement area against attacks of wild animals. The Tribal Development Department should initiate action to ensure safety of the tribals in the area. The Aralam Farm zonal Congress committee had staged a dharna in front of the Collectorate here on April 5 to raise this demand.

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Printable version | Apr 16, 2021 6:00:07 PM |

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