Case against 4 in Sherpur over killing Asian elephant

Forest Department of Sreebardi upazila in Sherpur filed a case against four people on 11 November over killing an endangered Asian elephant by electrocution.

In-charge range officer of the Balijuri range Rabiul Islam filed the case under the Wild Life Act at the Sreebardi court followed by a general diary lodged at the Sreebardi police station, confirmed Robiul Islam from the district Forest Department on Thursday.

The accused in the case are Amej Uddin, his brother Somej Uddin, Md Ashraful and Md Shahjalal, all farmers from the Malakocha area in the district.

On 9 November, an elephant got electrocuted and died while searching for food after being trapped in electrified GI wires installed by local farmers around their vegetable farming lands at Sonajhuri Hillock in the upazila.

Forest official Robiul Islam said the lands were actually owned by the Forest Department and the farmers were cultivating there illegally.

He said due to increasing farming activities occupying forest lands, wild elephants started coming into the locality.

The case was filed for violating schedule-1 of the Wild Life (Preservation and Security) Act, 2012 under section 36 of the act, he said.

The court has summoned the four accused and set 12 December to hear the case, said range officer Robiul Islam.

Trainer of elephant response team in the district, Adnan Asif, said the large area under Garo Hill tracts in Sherpur has been reduced to a small portion in the last 20 to 30 years.

Due to increasing human invaders in the hill area, the number of wildlife has decreased and the remaining few elephants are facing food crisis, he said.

According to forest officials, in the last two decades some 30 wild Asian elephants have died in the hilly area of Sherpur district.

Of them many died by gunshot, electrocution, poisoning while some died due to accidents, aging and sickness, said the officials.