Kharibari, 20th November: On Monday, the All India Kisan Sabha, staged “gherao” over the Tukriajhar Forest Department Office in Naxalbari and submitted a memorandum seeking adequate financial compensation from forest department in connection with the death of an individual identified as Swapan Mahali in a wild elephant attack in Manjay Jote of Kharibari.
According to reports, on October 27, the victim was severely injured in the elephant attack and subsequently lost his life in the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital (NBMCH). In addition, it was alleged that the forest personnel did not consider the issue important. As a result, the family members of the deceased demanded for compensation in regard to the tragedy. In alignment to the demand, a demonstration was held where the members of the All India Kisan Sabha joined in support of the family members and encircled the forest department office.
Speaking in this regard, All India Kisan Sabha District Secretary Jharen Roy stated that decision was made without conducting a thorough investigation into the death. Apart from the financial recompense, a demand has been made for the construction of elephant control watch tower and searchlights in the vicinity.
Meanwhile, ADFO of Kurseong Forest Department, Bhupen Vishwakarma, stated that the authorities were informed about the death later. When the Ranger and Beat Officers arrived at the spot to investigate, the reason of the death was not highlighted. However, he gave assurance to come to a decision after reassessing the location and reviewing the autopsy findings. Simultaneously, he termed the allegations against the ranger as baseless. In the meantime, the Naxalbari police promptly arrived at the spot and brought the situation under control.