Poachers rig plantation, electrocute elephant in Odisha's Dhenkanal
The New Indian Express
July 25, 2021
A young adult elephant walked into a kendu plantation, rigged with live
electricity wire, only to end up getting electrocuted in Dhenkanal in what
has turned into a tragic pattern of jumbo deaths in the State.
The incident was reported early on Saturday, July 24, 2021. The carcass of
the eight-year-old female elephant was found on private land in Kantamila
village under the Hindol range. The jumbo died after coming in contact with
a live wire laid by poachers to kill wild boars.
A team of officials led by the assistant conservator of forests (ACF) Rasmi
Ranjan Swain reached the spot and conducted the investigation. After
inquiry, forest officials arrested Ranjeet Nahak and Jeetu Sahu while two
others Anjan Pradhan and Gayadhara Sahu are under interrogation. Six
persons were apparently involved, Divisional forest officer (DFO) Prakash
Chand Gogineni said.
Ranjeet and other villagers had laid the wire and hooked it to an 11 kV
power line to poach boars. The live wire was laid for around three km on
the private land. The accused were engaged in poaching in the past using
“A herd of elephants had strayed into the area from Angul on Friday night.
One of the elephants was electrocuted. The record of the private land on
which the elephant carcass was found has been recovered. Some others are
absconding,” the DFO informed.
Sources said kendu trees were grown on the land where the incident took
place. Two forest teams along with a sniffer dog were pressed into service
to collect evidence from the spot. The DFO, who was present during the
postmortem of the carcass, has asked forest personnel to intensify the
manhunt to nab the remaining accused.
On June 6, a 15-year-old tusker was electrocuted near solar fencing in the
mango orchard of one Biswajit Arjend Kumar Jena, a lawyer, in Govindprasad
village under Odapada block. Though Jena was arrested, he was later
released on bail. After investigation, it was found that the tusker had
come in contact with an LT line and died. Further, the solar fencing was
overcharged to 20 kV instead of the specified 9 kV. The DFO had said that
it was a deliberate attempt to kill the tusker.
Forest officials also found that half of the mango orchard land was
encroached by Jena. Though the Forest department had sought the land
schedule from Odapada tehsil office, sources said it is yet to receive the
same. Odapada tehsildar Bani Nivedita Swain said the land schedule report
was sent to the Forest department on Friday. She further confirmed that
Jena had encroached on the forest land but refused to divulge any details.
However, DFO Gogineni said the Forest department is yet to receive the land
schedule from the tehsil office.