Wild elephant kills coffee planter in Kodagu
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Wild elephant kills coffee planter in Kodagu

March 24, 2024

Madikeri: A coffee planter was killed when a wild elephant attacked him at Naladi in Kakkabe Gram Panchayat (GP) limits in the early hours of yesterday. The tragedy came to light when the pet dog returned home alone. The deceased has been identified as Kambeyanda Raja Devaiah (59), a resident of Naladi village. He leaves behind his wife, one son and a host of  relatives and friends.

Yesterday early morning, Devaiah went to the coffee estate which is close to his house along with his pet dog. But after some time, the pet dog returned home alone. Sensing trouble, Devaiah’s wife called her husband on his mobile phone. As her calls went unanswered, she went to the coffee estate and was shocked to see a wild elephant in the estate. She immediately ran to the house and informed her son, who in turn went to the coffee estate and searched for his father only to find his body. He then informed the matter to the villagers.

Villagers said that there were three wild elephants which had stayed put in the coffee estate. Devaiah, being a coffee planter, was also driving his own autorickshaw for a living. It is learnt that when Devaiah went to his coffee estate, the wild elephants attacked him leading to his death and his pet dog ran back home.

Villagers express anger

Pointing out that the villagers in this region were living in fear due to menace of wild elephants, villagers said that wild elephants had also attacked Devaiah’s brother in the past resulting in him suffering a broken leg and had recovered recently.

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Stating that wild elephants had attacked many people in this region and were raiding coffee estates frequently, the villagers said that though they had made several representations to the Forest Department, the officials had failed to provide a solution which has now led to a family losing their  bread-winner.

The villagers demanded adequate compensation be paid to the family of deceased Devaiah and provide a Government job to his children besides urging the Forest Department to take steps to shift the elephants.

After Forest Dept. officials assured of providing adequate compensation and also assured of bringing the incident to the notice of the Deputy Commissioner, the villagers shifted the body of Devaiah to the District Hospital.

DFO Bhaskar handed over the first phase of Rs. 5 lakh compensation cheque to the family members of the deceased. Napoklu Station House Officer Manjunath and staff, Madikeri RFO Ravindra, Virajpet RFO Kallira Devaiah, Bhagamandala RFO and staff, Kakkabe Gram Panchayat office-bearers and others were present.

Yaduveer meets family members

Mysuru-Kodagu Lok Sabha BJP candidate Yaduveer Wadiyar, who visited the house of deceased Devaiah, offered his condolence to the family members. He was accompanied by former MLA K.G. Bopaiah, MLC Suja Kushalappa and others.

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