Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi visits bereaved kin of wild elephant attack victims

Rahul Gandhi will also attend an assessment and review meeting with the district officials in Kalpetta before leaving for Allahabad in the afternoon.


Published Feb 18, 2024 | 9:53 AMUpdatedFeb 18, 2024 | 9:53 AM

Rahul Gandhi with the family family members of Ajeesh, who was trampled to death by a radio-collared elephant on 10 February. (Supplied)

Congress leader and Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi on Sunday, 18 February, visited the houses of two victims of the recent wild elephant attacks in the high-range district, and consoled their family members.

Gandhi reached the neighbouring Kannur district on Saturday night after halting his Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra in Varanasi abruptly in the wake of intense protests by locals seeking solutions to the human-animal conflicts in his constituency.

From Kannur, he proceeded to Wayanad by road and was accompanied by AICC General Secretary KC Venugopal and other local leaders.

He spent over 20 minutes at the house of Ajeesh (42), who was trampled to death by a radio-collared makhna elephant in the Mananthavady area of Wayanad district triggering massive protests last week.

Later, he visited the residence of Pakkom Vellachalil VP Paul, an eco-tourism guide of the forest department, who was killed by a wild tusker near Kuruva island on Friday, 16 February and spent some time there.

The MP is also expected to visit the house of Prajeesh, who was killed by a tiger on 9 December 2023.

Related: All-party meeting seeks to raise compensation paid to man-animal conflict victims

Rahul Gandhi to attend review meet

Gandhi will also attend an assessment and review meeting with the district officials at the PWD rest house in Kalpetta before leaving for Allahabad in the afternoon.

Attacks on livestock and humans are frequently being reported from Wayanad of late.

A hartal called by various political parties in protest against the increasing wild animal attacks in the region turned violent here on Saturday.

Three cases were registered in connection with the violence during the hartal. The FIRs were registered against several known and unknown persons under various charges, including obstruction of the public way, rioting, unlawful assembly, and criminal force on public officials, among others, police said on Sunday.

The district-wide hartal call was given by all three major political fronts in protest against the increasing number of wild animal attacks.

Protesters gathered in large numbers with the body of Paul at Pulpally town, seeking compensation for the family and a permanent solution for the issue.

Agitators began hurling bottles and plastic chairs at the district authorities and elected representatives during the protest, following which the police resorted to lathi-charge leaving many injured.

The mob raised slogans and booed Congress MLAs T Siddique and IC Balakrishnan who tried to pacify the protesters.

The funeral of Paul was held at a local church on Saturday.

Meanwhile, efforts to tranquilise the elephant that had killed Aji is till on.

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