Elephant ‘killed’ & buried by villagers in Sundergarh; 2 forest officials suspended

Sundergarh: The Forest Department today suspended two of its staff for dereliction in duty after a carcass of a female wild elephant was found buried near Putulia village in Sonakhan section area under Rajgangpur Forest Range in the district.

The two officers have been identified as Forester Harish Jena and Forest Guard Sabita Kishan. The Rajgangpur Range Officer has been served show cause notice in connection with the incident, informed Rourkela Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Sanjay Kumar Swain.

“We received the information of the elephant being killed and buried yesterday. After preliminary investigation, one person was arrested in connection with the incident. Meanwhile, three teams have been formed to nab the other persons involved in the act,” added the DFO.

As per reports, some miscreants set the carcass of the pachyderm on fire. Kerosene-filled cans, logs and axes were also found from the spot. The forest officials are yet to reach the spot.

It is being alleged that Jena and Kishan along with some villagers set the big animal on fire to destroy evidences.

“However, we have not received any information regarding the elephant carcass set on fire. I will visit the spot and after a detailed investigation, stringent action will be taken against the persons involved in the incident,” stated the DFO.

Reports said a herd of elephants were straying in the region and often destroying crops. In a fit of rage, some villagers killed an elephant and buried it in the forest.