Wildlife lovers demand independent probe into elephant death

Bhubaneswar: Demanding a high-level independent inquiry into the death of six elephants in a train accident in Ganjam district, a wildlife activist on Thursday sat on a fast near Jaydev Bhavan here.

Lingaraj Panda, Convenor of 'Social Action for Good Earth, today sat on fast protesting killing of animals even as both the state and the Railways blame each other over the mishap.

At least six elephants died after being hit by a speeding train near Subalaya in Ganjam district on December 30.

"We have nothning to do with the Railways or the forest department. We demand protection of elephants who are dying in the state at regular intervals," said Panda.

In a letter to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Panda said, "We are disturbed over your silence in the matter. You must realise that it takes eight years for a mother elephant to give birth to a calf."

Seeking Patnaik's intervention, the organisation said that all the trains passing through elephant passage route must be directed to regulate their speed in particular area.

The organisation also expressed concern over the large scale death of jumbos due to electrocution in the state.

Panda, who sat on the hinger strike for the day, appealed to all the citizens to come to streets to save the precious wildlife.