Fresh at job, Forest Watcher loses life in jumbo attack

Fresh at job, Forest Watcher loses life in jumbo attack

January 20, 2023

Chamarajanagar: A watcher who was barely two-day-old in Forest Department has lost his life in wild elephant attack at Eththugatti Betta area in regional forest range of the taluk.

Nanajaiah (35) of Hosapodu in Punajanur is the deceased person. He had joined the Forest Department as a daily wager two days ago, as the Department is recruiting more number of workers on a daily wage basis due to the lack of adequate personnel, to take up elephant operations.

The herd of wild elephants had been camping at agricultural fields in Vadgalpura, Chennappanapura and other villages in the taluk for the past few days. Apart from damaging the crops, they had even caused the death of an ox, thus triggering fears among villagers.

The Forest Department had launched an operation to drive back the elephants that were believed to have strayed out of Sathyamangalam Forest in Tamil Nadu. 

As the herd of about 60 to 65 elephants were camping at Chennappanapura Betta coming under Eththugatti camp, the Forest personnel had launched the operation of driving away the pachyderms from the temple area at Chennappanapura Betta. The elephants were moving towards Eththugatti Temple, when about 20 to 30 Forest personnel were trailing them.

During this time, a mother elephant returned only to attack the forest personnel. While others escaped, Nanjaiah sustained grievous injuries and was rushed to Chamarajanagar Institute of Medical Sciences (CIMS) Hospital, where he succumbed after sometime.

 The body of Nanjaiah was handed over to family members after post-mortem.

The Forest Department officials, who visited the spot, promised a suitable compensation to the next of the kin of the deceased.

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 Chamarajanagar MLA C. Puttarangashetty visited CIMS Hospital, paid his last respects to Nanjaiah and consoled his family members. He promised to write a letter to the Government seeking a compensation of Rs. 50 lakh to bereaved family members.

RFO Umesh, DRFO Chandrakumar, ACF Suresh and others were present during the MLA’s visit.


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