Farmer arrested for electrocution death of elephant

More than two months after the death of a wild tusker by electrocution, the Forest Department arrested a farmer for putting up an illegal electric fence in Coimbatore on Monday.
Farmer arrested for electrocution death of elephant
Farmers at a meeting with the Forest Department to discuss ways to prevent elephant deaths in Coimbatore on Monday

Chennai: According to the Forest Department, M Manoharan (57), from Varappalayam Village near Thadagam had erected an illegal electric fence to protect his banana grove.

When the tusker came in contact with the live wire on the night of February 12, the animal suffered an electrocution and died. Both Manoharan and his son Naresh went into hiding.

Acting on a tip off, the Forest Department staff picked up Manoharan from a bus stop as he came to Coimbatore from Bengaluru early on Monday. The arrest comes in the wake of his bail plea getting dismissed in court. Manoharan, who also holds the post of vice president in Farmers Welfare Association (non-political) in Coimbatore, had been booked under Section 9 (prohibition of hunting) of the Wildlife (Protection) Act.

Meanwhile, a committee led by Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests I Anwardeen formed to study the reasons behind frequent elephant deaths across Tamil Nadu, held a meeting with representatives of various farmers associations in Coimbatore on Monday.

At the meeting, farmers suggested various measures, including radio collaring the head member of a herd to monitor and prevent them from straying into farms, removal of encroachments on their migratory pathways and ensuring availability of food and water inside the forest cover.

The farmers also sought action against poachers for using ‘avuttukai’ (country bombs) to hunt down wild boars, which inadvertently end up killing elephants.

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