Man-animal conflict | Protest at Pulpally in Wayanad district of Kerala turns violent

Protesters tie carcass of bull reportedly killed in tiger attack on bonnet of utility vehicle of Forest department at Pulpally

February 17, 2024 03:16 pm | Updated 05:00 pm IST - KALPETTA

Protesters tie the carcass of a bull reportedly killed in a tiger attack on the bonnet of a utility vehicle of the Forest department at Pulpally in Wayanad on February 17.

Protesters tie the carcass of a bull reportedly killed in a tiger attack on the bonnet of a utility vehicle of the Forest department at Pulpally in Wayanad on February 17. | Photo Credit: special arrangement

A protest staged by an all-party action council at Pulpally in Wayanad district of Kerala on February 17 (Saturday) morning with the body of a man killed in an elephant attack turned violent after people’s representatives and officials representing the government failed to give the protesters a written assurance. The protesters had raised a slew of demands, including providing a solatium of ₹50 lakh to the kin of the deceased.

The protesters staged the demonstration at the bus stand with the body of Paul of Vellachalil, an employee of Kuruva Dweep eco-tourism centre of the Forest department who was killed in the elephant attack on Friday morning.

Also Read: Explained | Has human-animal conflict increased in Wayanad? 

The other demands of the protesters included providing a permanent government job to the next of kin of the deceased, bearing the educational expenses of his daughter, writing off his bank loans, capturing the elephant that killed the man and capturing a tiger that triggered panic among the residents at Pulpally.

People’s representatives and senior officials representing the government told the leaders of the council after a meeting that a sum of ₹10 lakh would be provided as solatium at once and they would recommended the government to provide the remaining amount of ₹40 lakh.

They also offered a permanent job to the wife of the deceased and offered to bear the educational expenses of his daughter.

‘A gimmick’

However, council leaders said such “a gimmick” was made at a meeting after the death of Ajeesh, a farmer who was also killed in an elephant attack, a week ago, and that it should not be repeated. They instead demanded that the government give a written assurance on the matter.

The absence of such an assurance from higher officials provoked the protesters who then turned to the police and the people’s representatives. They hurled bottles and stones at the police and the people’s representatives, which included legislators I.C. Balakrishnan and T. Siddique.

The protesters also demanded that the Chief Minister and the Forests Minister visit the area.

Govt. vehicle damaged

Meanwhile, protesters carried the carcass of a bull that was reportedly killed in a tiger attack near Pulpally on Saturday morning to the site. They tied the carcass on the bonnet of a utility vehicle of the Forest department and placed a wreath on it. Some protesters damaged the vehicle bonnet.

The body of Paul was later shifted to his house at Pakkom. However, the protesters warned that they would continue their protests till they receive a written order from the government.

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