Five held over death of elephant due to electrocution

Raipur, Jun 17 (PTI) :
Five persons, including three personnel of the state power company, were arrested by the forest department in connection with the death of an elephant due to electrocution in Raigarh district of Chhattisgarh, an official said on Wednesday.
The tusker had died on Tuesday morning after coming in contact with a live wire at a farm in Gersa village under Dharamjaigarh forest division of the district.
Two farmers, including one Bhadoram Rathiya, and three employees of the state power company- sub-engineer P Kujur, lineman Amrit Lal and an assistant lineman- were arrested in this connection, Chief Conservator of Forests (Bilaspur circle) Anil Soni told PTI.
The investigation revealed that the two farmers had allegedly laid an illegal power connection for operating bore wells in their farms.
However, the elephant came in contact with that live wire and died, he said.
“The forest officials also found that following the incident, the three power department employees were cutting the illegal connection from the electricity pole at the spot, thereby causing disappearance of evidence. After that the trio was arrested,” h said.
All of them were booked under the Wild Life Protection Act, 1972and further investigation into the matter is underway, he added.
Five elephants have so far died in the state since June 9.
Last week, carcasses of two elephants were recovered from the Pratappur forest range of Surajpur district on June 9 and 10, while another jumbo was found dead in neighbouring Balrampur district on June 11.
Later, three state forest officials and a guard were suspended, while a show-cause notice was issued to a divisional forest officer in Balrampur for alleged dereliction of duty.
In another incident on Tuesday, an elephant calf was found dead in a marshland near Urputi (Mongri) village in Dhamtari district.

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