Tamil Nadu: Two loco pilots booked after train runs over 3 elephants

Published on Nov 29, 2021 12:27 AM IST

On Saturday, the forest department detained the two loco pilots—M T Subair from Kozhikode and M C Akhil from Thrissur.

On Friday night, a speeding train from Mangalore to Chennai, near the A line between Walayar and Ettimadai, hit and killed three elephants—two female and a male. (AFP/Representative use)
On Friday night, a speeding train from Mangalore to Chennai, near the A line between Walayar and Ettimadai, hit and killed three elephants—two female and a male. (AFP/Representative use)
By, Chennai

: The Tamil Nadu forest department said a case was filed against two loco pilots who were booked under Section 9 of the Wildlife Protection Act on Saturday in the case of death of three elephants—who were killed by a moving passenger train near the Madikeri range of Coimbatore district, Tamil Nadu.

On Saturday, the forest department detained the two loco pilots—M T Subair from Kozhikode and M C Akhil from Thrissur.

After taking their statements and relevant documents, the forest department took an undertaking from the loco pilots that they will appear for questioning, the forest department said and added that the forest department has also sent a team from Coimbatore to Palakkad, Kerala to collect a microchip to collect data on the speed of the train. Members of the loco pilots association in the neighbouring state, Kerala, opposed the move.

“This has become a kind of tension between the two states and the railways department with the forest department,” said principal chief conservator of forests and chief wildlife warden Shekar Kumar Niraj.

Niraj said the case has to be booked because it is mandated under the Wildlife Protection Act, and added “We are now judicially moving things. Both departments must work together for short term and long-term measures.”

In reply to a journalist’s tweet, the southern railways said they are cooperating with the forest department.

“Investigation is in progress. At the moment there is no evidence supporting the claim of negligence by the loco pilots. It is being discussed only as a possibility,” the southern railways said.

A postmortem conducted on Saturday had revealed that one of the elephants was pregnant.

On Friday night, a speeding train from Mangalore to Chennai, near the A line between Walayar and Ettimadai, hit and killed three elephants—two female and a male.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Divya Chandrababu is an award-winning political and human rights journalist based in Chennai, India. Divya is presently Assistant Editor of the Hindustan Times where she covers Tamil Nadu & Puducherry. She started her career as a broadcast journalist at NDTV-Hindu where she anchored and wrote prime time news bulletins. Later, she covered politics, development, mental health, child and disability rights for The Times of India. Divya has been a journalism fellow for several programs including the Asia Journalism Fellowship at Singapore and the KAS Media Asia- The Caravan for narrative journalism. Divya has a master's in politics and international studies from the University of Warwick, UK. As an independent journalist Divya has written for Indian and foreign publications on domestic and international affairs.

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