Man-animal conflict: Kerala’s Opposition Congress accuses Union, state governments of inaction

Opposition Leader VD Satheesan contended that the state government has no short- or long-term plans to prevent animal attacks.


Published Feb 24, 2024 | 9:00 AMUpdatedFeb 24, 2024 | 10:53 AM

Opposition leader VD Satheesan. (Facebook)

The Congress in Kerala on Friday, 24 February, slammed both the central and state governments, saying they are doing nothing to prevent human-animal conflict and instead were blaming each other over the recent animal attacks in areas close to forests where lakhs of people in the state live.

Leader of Opposition in the State Assembly VD Satheesan said that while the Centre claims that the Chief Wildlife Warden (CWW) has the authority to deal with problematic wild animals, the state government was asking for more powers.

Union Minister for Environment, Forest, and Climate Change Bhupender Yadav said a day ago that the CWW has the power under the Wildlife Protection Act to permit trapping, capture and killing of problematic animals.

Satheesan, while speaking at a news conference in Kottayam as part of the party’s Samaragni campaign, contended that the state government has no short- or long-term plans to prevent animal attacks.

Four people were killed in wild animal attacks in the Wayanad district alone since December last.

Related: Department empowered to kill problematic animals, says Union Minister Bhupender Yadav on wildlife threat

Indifference, hallmark of state govt

“Indifference and inaction is the hallmark of the state government and the forest minister,” he said, criticising the administration.

Samaragni is the Congress’s statewide electioneering march that will cover the 20 Lok Sabha constituencies in Kerala and culminate in Thiruvananthapuram on 29 February.

The opposition leader further said that when the neighbouring states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka were taking measures to mitigate human-animal conflicts, Kerala was allegedly turning a blind eye toward the issue.

Besides the human-animal conflict, the law and order situation in the state also came in for criticism from Satheesan.

Referring to recent instances of DYFI and SFI leaders allegedly attacking and misbehaving with police personnel, the Congress leader said that Left party members were being allowed to “let loose” and “behave like criminals”.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan who is also in charge of the Home Department should be ashamed of what is happening, he remarked.

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