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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

The Odisha forest department initiated action in connection with the death of two female elephants due to electrocution in Keonjhar district recently and suspended two employees on Tuesday.   

Regional Chief Conservator of Forest (RCCF), Keonjhar placed under suspension Sadar Range forester and a forest guard. They have been charged with dereliction of duty.

The suspended forest department employees have been identified as forester Pradeep Barik and forest guard Mitrabhanu Nayak.

Two female pachyderms had died after coming in contact with the live electric power line on the premises of Krishi Vigyan Kendra under Sadar range last week.

On the other hand, the Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) has issued a show-cause notice to the electricity department in connection with the death of the elephants.

As per reports, the farmhouse of the Krishi Vigyan Kendra is full of vegetation due to the rainy season. Wild elephants used to come to the farmhouse to gorge on the branches of different plants and creepers. A herd had come to the farmhouse. However, two of the pachyderms came in contact with the low-lying electric wires while trying to break the branches of a tree with their trunks. In the process, two female elephants from the spot died at the spot. Their trunks were stuck with the electric wire.

Local people blamed the lackadaisical attitude of the forest and electric department officials for the unfortunate death of two pachyderms.

Following the death of the two elephants, questions were being raised over the sincerity and responsibility of both the forest and electric departments.

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