Death of 6 elephants on railway track: Accident or poaching?
Bhubaneswar: In a new twist to the death of six elephants run over by a train in Ganjam district, the Railways on Wednesday claimed the animals were driven onto the track.
"As the train approached the site, the personnel posted at the level crossing (No-279) saw some eight to ten people holding torches driving the elephants on to the track. When the train (Coromandel Express) was barely 200 meter from the elephants, they disappeared," S K Mohanty, Divisional Railway Manager, Khurda Road, said.
He claimed an hour after the incident, the same people reappeared and took away the ivory. "I am only quoting the railway personnel who saw it," he said.
The people not only had torches but also hailers. "We don't know who they were," Mohanty said.
Asked whether poachers were behind the incident where six elephants and a duty staff died on December 30, Mohanty said "it is up to the wildlife division of the forest department to find out whether it had anything to do with poaching.
"I am sharing this information as it came to light during an investigation by our staff," Mohanty told reporters.