Animal rights body seeks probe into death of jumbos

New Delhi: Close on the heels of Supreme Court asking Meghalaya and 13 other states to file a report on death of elephants, a renowned animal rights body petitioned the Centre to probe the death of 30 jumbos in a month including one in Garo Hills.
Animal rights body Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO) on Friday urged the Centre to constitute a committee to probe the death of 30 elephants across the country within a month. In a letter-cum-petition to Union Environment Minister, Prakash Javadekar, FIAPO compiled and attached news reports regarding the deaths that took place between May 27 and June 29 this year.
The written petition recommends the committee to include representatives from investigating agencies, forest departments, Wildlife Crime Control Bureau, government and non-government agencies (including wildlife experts and scientists) to investigate the deaths. It also should propose long term, effective policy changes to protect elephants from violent crimes, the petition said.
Most of the mentioned cases from the 12 states of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Assam, Meghalaya, Uttarakhand and Kerala appear to have involved violence.
The Meghalaya police have referred the case of the death of an elephant in South Garo Hills to the wildlife department. Speculations are rife that the elephant may have been killed by poachers since there is a deep wound on its back or it might have died of electrocution.
In some cases, it is even clear that the deaths are linked to illegal poaching for ivory, FIAPO said. The body also pointed out that the existing legal framework for protection of elephants was lenient.
The Supreme Court had also recently asked the states’ response on how to deal with increasing man-elephant conflict.

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