Wayanad elephant attack: Man trampled to death, Rahul Gandhi asks for decisive steps

A 42-year-old man was trampled to death by a wild elephant in Kerala’s Wayanad district on Saturday, official said.

According to the police, the incident took place in the Mananthavady area of the city when a wild tusker entered a residential area and attacked the man, identified as Padamala Panachiyil Aji.

A major protest broke out at Mananthavady over the death, with the locals taking it to the streets with the body of Aji, who died at the Mananthavady Medical College where he was admitted following the attack.

Later, the Kerala government announced Rs ten lakh compensation and assured a job to one of the family members of the 42-year old man. The state government also said that it would take responsibility of education of the two children of the victim.

Forest Minister A K Saseendran also directed the District Magistrate (DM) and Superintendent of Police (SP) of Wayanad to initiate necessary actions to tranquilise the wild tusker and relocate it to the forest.

Wayanad MP and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also took cognisance of the incident and demanded “decisive steps” from the Central and state governments.

“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 posted on X (formerly known as Twitter).

He said the spate of wildlife attacks, especially elephant attacks, have caused tremendous damage to the lives and livelihoods of the people in Wayanad and that they have paid a huge price due to the rising instances of human-animal conflict.

“We have repeatedly demanded for 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 Central 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,” Gandhi posted.

Earlier last week, another wild elephant, with a radio collar, was seen in the Mananthavady area of Wayanad. After much effort, the tusker was tranquilised and captured but it died in captivity.

Published By:

Sudeep Lavania

Published On:

Feb 10, 2024

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