Elephant attacks in Wayanad: Rahul Gandhi leaves for Kerala as protests turn violent

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has left for his constituency Wayanad in Kerala after a district-wide ‘hartal’ (strike) called by opposition parties over the man-animal conflicts in the region turned violent on Saturday.

“Rahul Gandhi is leaving for Wayanad from Varanasi as he is urgently required in his Lok Sabha constituency and will resume his Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra from Uttar Pradesh’s Prayagraj on Sunday afternoon,” Congress said.

Rahul Gandhi’s visit comes a day after another man was killed by a wild elephant near Kuruva island in Wayanad on Friday, leading to a large-scale protest demanding permanent solutions to the man-animal conflicts in the region.

Rahul Gandhi, who was in Uttar Pradesh for his ‘Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra’, is due to reach Wayanad today and will return to Varanasi tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the ‘hartal’ over an elephant attack turned violent in Pulpally on Saturday with residents stopping a forest department vehicle and damaging it. The angry mob tore off the soft top of the jeep and punctured its tyre.

Locals in the area gathered in large numbers with the body of Paul, a tourism guide of the forest department who died after being attacked by a wild tusker near Kuruva island.

All shops remained closed and vehicles kept off the roads today in Wayanad.

Meanwhile, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has given a direction to convene a high level meeting led by concerned ministers, to address concerns pertaining to the recurring conflicts between humans and animals.

As per the directive, Revenue, Forest and Local Self Government Department (LSGD) ministers would jointly convene a meeting in Wayanad district on February 20.

Last week, a 42-year-old man was trampled to death by a wild elephant in the Mananthavady area of the district, triggering massive protests in Wayanad.

Published By:

Sahil Sinha

Published On:

Feb 17, 2024

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