CBI begins probe into death of elephants, poaching in forests of Tamil Nadu

Several elephants have been electrocuted or killed by poachers in Tamil Nadu and Kerala in the last few years. In an incident which led to massive outrage, a pregnant elephant was killed after it ate a pineapple containing firecrackers in June last year.
The Madurai bench of the Madras high court had, in February this year, asked the CBI to probe the nexus of middlemen, poachers and kingpins in elephant killings based on a report by the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau. (Image used for representation). (HT FILE PHOTO.)
The Madurai bench of the Madras high court had, in February this year, asked the CBI to probe the nexus of middlemen, poachers and kingpins in elephant killings based on a report by the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau. (Image used for representation). (HT FILE PHOTO.)
Published on Apr 08, 2021 07:15 PM IST
Copy Link

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has launched a probe into alleged poaching and killing of elephants in the forests of Tamil Nadu, an issue raised by wildlife activists over the years.

The Madurai bench of the Madras high court had, in February this year, asked the CBI to probe the larger nexus of middlemen, poachers and the kingpins in these killings on the basis of a report submitted by the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB).

The agency has lodged three First Information Reports (FIRs) registered by local police – into the death of an Indian elephant (Elephas Maximus) at Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve in Hasanur (Tamil Nadu) in December 19, 2020; death of another male elephant in April 2014 in Udumalpet Forest Range (Anamalai Tiger Reserve) and the killing of another elephant at Boluvampatti Forest Range (Coimbatore) on January 5 this year.

Several elephants have been electrocuted or killed by poachers in Tamil Nadu and Kerala in the last few years. In an incident which led to massive outrage, a pregnant elephant was killed after it ate a pineapple containing firecrackers in June last year.

It is not clear whether the CBI will probe the death of elephants in Kerala as well over the years or not.

While ordering a CBI probe, the HC had observed that elephant deaths were not just limited to few specific forest areas and that the perpetrators belonged to various states and a CBI probe is necessitated to ensure that the kingpins are nabbed.

In its order, the high court had observed that the WCCB made an extensive study including review of cases that were already filed and statements obtained from persons who were accused and suspected in those cases. The report revealed the involvement of different people operating at various levels, and in all the cases, only the accused are arrested while the middlemen and kingpins are never identified or apprehended. “The greed of the man could well be seen from the transaction that happened. It is not a case of poaching for livelihood but of international trade and sadistic pleasure in creating art out of fellow living beings,” the HC had observed.

With regard to electrocution of elephants in forests, the HC had expressed suspicion as to how tusks from electrocuted elephants in forests were removed by poachers without the knowledge of the authorities who guard the forests.

The directions were issued on a batch of PILs which sought protection of elephants from poaching and electrocution.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Sunday, January 23, 2022