Ranga's death: Forest dept yet to file a case

Two days have passed since 45-year-old elephant Ranga was mowed down by a private bus in Nagarahole. But the Forest department has still not filed a case against the suspect, under the Indian Wildlife Act, 1972. However, the Ponnampet police have initiated action against the driver and invoked sections under the IPC.

Sources in the Ponnampet police, who had seized the bus belonging to Kalpaka Travels and arrested the driver, have registered cases under the IPC.

“The police have registered case under Sections 279 and 429 of the IPC as the accident occurred on a state highway,” a senior official said. Section 279 deals with rash driving on a public way, Section 429 pertains to committing a mischief by killing, poisoning any animal, including an elephant, and can be punished with imprisonment extending up to five years.  

The delay by the Forest department in booking a case has triggered resentment among wildlife activists.

“There is no confusion in the case as everything is known to all. The suspect is known and has been taken into custody. But it is still a mystery why officials are delaying registration of a case under the Wildlife Act. Even if they do so now, the court, at the time of trial, will question them over the delay in registering the case when everything was known,” said a wildlife activist from Nagarahole.

When DH contacted K T Hanumanthappa, Deputy Conservator of Forests and in-charge director of Nagarahole National Park, he acknowledged that there has been a delay in filing the case. The officer said he would personally visit the place on Wednesday and file a case under the Indian Wildlife Act.

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Ranga's death: Forest dept yet to file a case

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