Ranchi, July 20 (IANS) The death of an elephant in Betla National Park in Jharkhand is becoming more controversial by the day. Now, Jamshedpur MLA Saryu Rai has written to Chief Minister Hemant Soren demanding a high-level probe into the matter.
The female elephant was found dead in Murkatti area of Betla under the Palamu Tiger Reserve.
Demanding a high-level probe into the matter, the MLA said that the culprits should be identified and punished. “If it is not done then wild animals in the state especially in the PTR will be affected,” Rai said.
He said in the letter that a deep wound was found on the head (skull) of the elephant. The skull of an elephant is quite strong, it is impossible to pierce it with normal blows. Such a wound on an elephant’s skull can only be caused by a rifle bullet.
He said, “It was found during the postmortem that the wound is quite deep, yet the veterinarian who did the postmortem did not mention it in his report. According to the postmortem report the elephant died of liver disease. In such a situation the report should be scrutinised.”
After the death of the elephant, wildlife lovers have been demanding a high-level inquiry into the matter. They suspect that she could have been shot or killed with a sharp weapon.
Rai, who is active in the field of environmental protection, said that a tigress was also killed in the PTR a few days ago. Thereafter, three bisons also died in suspicious circumstances.
The MLA has expressed apprehension that a hunter-gatherer gang has entered the PTR which is killing the wildlife, while the authorities are not able to catch the gang.
Rai wrote in the letter, “They (officials) are not even ready to accept the status quo. Their interest is in suppressing and under-reporting such incidents, it is not right.”
Rai in his letter also accused the then forest department officials of shamefully covering up a tigress’ death.
He said that a call attention motion was also tabled in the Assembly, but following the Covid-19 outbreak it could not be discussed. The response given by the government is also misleading. Rai stated that the reason for the death of the tigress is not what the forest officials have told the House.
The corpse of the elephant was seen by the forest workers who went out on patrol in Betla National Park on the morning of July 14, after which the incident was reported to the senior officials of the forest department.