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Train driver booked for jumbo killings

Bhubaneswar, Jan 1, 2012, DHNS : 0:45 IST
People for Animals activists participate in a campaign in Bhubaneswar to save elephants after the recent train accident in which five pachyderms were killed.
The Odisha Forest and Environment Department of government has registered cases against the driver of the super fast Coromandel Express that rammed into a herd of wild elephants near Rambha in Ganjam district, killing five pachyderms on the spot. He has been booked under different sections of the Wildlife Protection Act.

“We have already registered cases against the driver. A detailed investigation into the tragic incident is on. We will not hesitate to register cases against other people if they are found guilty after our investigation,” said Forest and Environment Minister Bijoyshree Routray, indirectly indicating that cases may be filed against more railway personnel.

Sources in the wildlife division in the Forest and Environment Department said an additional conservator of forests had been directed to conduct the investigation and submit his report to the government as early as possible.

The state Forest Department and the East Coast Railways have been at loggerheads since the late Saturday night incident with both holding each other responsible for the mishap.

Routray had called an emergency meeting of the senior forest officials and the officials from the East Coast Railways here on Monday to discuss the issue. However, the meeting also ended with both hurling charges against each other.

The state government is contemplating writing letters to the Union railways as well as Forest and Environment Ministries on the issue.

However, sources said, the Centre has already sought a report from the state’s chief wildlife warden on the incident. He has been asked to submit the report within five days.

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