Kerala govt announces compensation, job for family of man killed in elephant attack

Wayanad Congress MP Rahul Gandhi urged the Union and State governments to take decisive steps for protecting communities and the wildlife of the region.
Wild Elephant
Wild ElephantIANS
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Following a protest by locals over the death of a man who was trampled to death by a wild elephant on February 10, the Kerala government has announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakh and a job to a family member of the deceased.

State Forest Minister AK Saseendran told mediapersons that the need of the hour was to allow tempers to cool down in the wake of the most unfortunate incident of a man losing his life.

"The state will give the compensation and a government job to a family member of the victim. We all understand the feelings of the people," said Saseendran.

The victim has been identified as Ajeesh (42), a taxi driver. The incident occurred near Mananthavady around 7 am. Following the incident, a group of people blocked the roads and prevented the vehicle of SP from moving forward. The police official was on way to the Mananthavady Medical College where the body of Ajeesh was kept. The SP was forced to walk on foot by the locals to the medical college.

The residents have also been protesting against the local legislator for allegedly failing to protect people from the wild animals. Sources said that the wild elephant had a radio collar which was put by Karnataka forest officials but the elephant had crossed over to the Kerala forests and entered Mananthavady areas. The Kerala Forest department has also decided to take steps to tranquilise the wild elephant and then leave it into the deep forest.

Meanwhile, Congress MP from Wayanad Rahul Gandhi wrote in his social media account that he was shocked by the untimely demise of the 42-year-old man.

"Another life has been tragically lost in Wayanad due to a wildlife attack. He was the sole breadwinner of his family and the primary caregiver to his mother. My heart goes out to his family, especially his ailing mother and young children," Rahul Gandhi said.

"The spate of wildlife attacks, especially elephant attacks have caused tremendous damage to the lives and livelihoods of the people in Wayanad. They have paid a huge price due to the rising instances of human-animal conflict," he added.

"We have repeatedly demanded intervention to mitigate such attacks in Wayanad, particularly to protect our farmers. However, the lack of a comprehensive action plan to tackle this issue has only aggravated the conflict. I urge the Union and State governments to take decisive steps and put in place a response mechanism that can protect both our communities and the wildlife of the region," the Congress leader wrote.

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