'Won’t use spikes to drive jumbos to forest'

The Karnataka government on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that spikes would no longer be used to drive away elephants straying into human habitat.

The Centre, also informed the top court, that instructions had been issued to all the principal chief conservators of forest (PCCFs) concerned to desist from using any method that tortures the elephants.

A bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta ordered stay on the tenders issued by West Bengal, Jharkhand and Odisha to obtain spikes for the purpose.

Advocate Anitha Shenoy, appearing for the Karnataka government, said she had instructions that all spikes obtained through tenders would be discarded. Henceforth, spikes or any such method would not be used to drive away elephants.

“We direct that any existing tender will remain stayed,” the bench said. “Wherever spikes or fireballs are used for driving away elephants, remedial steps should be taken by the states concerned for removing the spikes and desisting from using fireballs,” the bench said.

The court was hearing a petition by conservationist Prerna Singh Bindra and others on checking elephant deaths, curbing human-animal conflict and maintaining elephant corridors across India.

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