Guwahati: Demanding a credible probe into Assam’s Bamunipahar tragedy, where 18 wild Asiatic elephants were found dead, a city based activist journalist approached Prime Minister Narendra Modi for follow up actions. Sending a memorandum to PMO on Thursday, Biswajit Nath echoed the apprehension of environment enthusiasts that the jumbos did not die of any natural cause, but they were killed.
State forest department earlier claimed that all the elephants on Bamuni hillock in Nagaon district of central Assam died because of a lighting (thunderbolt) on the night of 12 May. But a large number of qualified engineers, conservation activists, common people denounced findings of the probe committee formed by the State government in Dispur.
Biodiversity conservation group Nature’s Beckon expressed serious doubts over its findings and demanded a high level scientific investigation involving experts from the field of Geology, Electrical Engineering, Science of Lightning (Thundering) along with the representatives from Zoological Survey of India, Wildlife Institute of India, Police department and civil society groups.
Another important aspect comes to the light that State forest department issued a no-objection certificate for a huge solar power project at Bamunipahar area, which is a recognised elephant habitat. The area has also witnessed various other human activities which indicates a probable cause for the killing of 18 elephants.
“Asiatic elephants are recognized as a Schedule one species, safeguarded under the Wildlife Protection Act 1972. Assam gives shelter to around 6,000 wild elephants, where as our country as a whole supports nearly 30,000 pachyderms,” said Nath in the memorandum.
With more to it, the elephants in our society are adored as the symbol of Lord Ganesh (Ganapati or Vinayaka), one of the most worshipped deities in the Hindu pantheon. Admired son of Devi Parbati, Ganesh Prabhu is revered as the remover of all obstacles to devotees, he added.
“So, if at all, the Bamunipahar elephants were killed for someone’s selfish interests, it would be a gross unfair for all of use to remain silent. The culprits must be punished under the prescribed laws,” asserted the nationalist journalist appealing PM Modi to take personal interests over the matter so that the people can get a sense of gratification over the justice to the victim elephants.