Dreadful situation prevails at Mananthavady following killing of youth by a wild elephant

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By  our  Special Correspondent

Mananthavady, Feb  11 (IVC)    A  highly  tense  situation  was prevailing at Mananthavady  under Begur Forest Range  in the North  Wynad  Forest  Division  following  failure of controlling a wild elephant who killed a young man on Feb 10 early morning, by  the  forest  protection force Tension prevailed at Mananthavady  after  public rage over  the death of a 45-year-old Aji in  a  wild  elephant  attack  yesterday  early  morning, police said.

The  marauding elephant chased  Aji, the  sole  bread  earner  of  the family,  into  the  house  compound at  Padmala  and trampled him  to  death.

                The  ill-fated  Aji was  returning home  after  meeting daily wages workers  on the  morning of February 10. The protestors  described the situation as dreadful at Mananthavady  today too  for the forest protection forces and policemen  neglected  in controlling the angry wild elephant  and failed in giving protection to  life  and  property  of over  40 families of  the  area.

                They said that it  was  a clear case of  neglect  on the part of the appropriate authorities to bring the elephant under control as it  was  a radio-collared wild elephant. The protestors shouted at  the authorities  for failure either to catch the elephant, apply Captor-gun with sedatives  or kill the animal  to  protect the life  and property of over 40 families .

                The  efforts of the authorities  to bring the animal under control stopped for the day as  the elephant  went into  the thick forest  and hence it would not  practicable  to apply Captor-gun with sedative and control the elephant today.  The efforts for  controlling  the elephant   would be continued, the official sources  said.

                Within two hours the signal of the position of the elephant would be available, the sources added. To  bring the tense situation under control , the Wynad Sub-collector  and Revenue  Divisional  Office , Vishal  Sagar   Bharath   imposed yesterday itself  Section 144 of  the Code Criminal Procedure  in certain divisions  of Mananthavady municipality  after the elephant  triggered  panic  among  residents of  Kurukan Moola, kuruva Kadankolly and Payyampally.

The  protestors raised slogans  against forest department , accusing wildlife  laws enforcers  of  failing  to turn away  the radio -collared  elephant  from  venturing   into  human habitations.   Later the mob  intensified their  protest  with the body  of the farmer  in Mananthavady  town .

Wynad District  Collector, Renu  Raj  was detained  by  the protestors  raising the  demands  of at least Rs 50  lakh  as compensation and other benefits. Later  at an all-party  meeting  Chaired by  the Collector, it  was decided to  provide  emergency financial assistance of  Rs  10 lakh to  the  family on  Feb 12.  A  government  employment would provided  to  the  wife  of  the  deceased, the  government would  bear  the  expenses for  higher education of his  children and adopt steps  to waive the bank loans  of the deceased, Ms  Renu Raj said after the meeting.

                The officials  and people’s  representatives will  urge the  government to  provide compensation of Rs 40  lakh to  the  kin she said. Despite  the  compensation and benefits offered by the authorities, the  protestors intensified their  agitation  today also from morning onwards and the protest was continuing  till the  time of writing this.

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