Chhattisgarh: Three forest officials, guard suspended over elephant deaths

The Chhattisgarh forest department has suspended three officials and a guard over the death of three female elephants in the state, PTI reported on Sunday.

An official told the news agency that the suspension order and the showcause notice was issued on Saturday evening for alleged dereliction of duty. This came a day after Chhattisgarh Forest Minister Mohammad Akbar constituted a panel headed by a retired Indian Forest Service officer to investigate the death of the elephants.

The bodies of the three elephants, including one pregnant one, were found in the jungles of Balrampur and Surajpur district between Tuesday and Thursday. Officials said all three of them belonged to the same herd and were moving towards Pratappur from Rajpur.

According to the order, Sub-Divisional Forest Officer (Rajpur) KS Khutia, Range Forest Officer (Rajpur) Anil Singh, Deputy Ranger (Gopalpur) Rajendra Prasad Tiwari, and Forest Guard Bhupendra Singh have been suspended. “As per reports, the elephant whose carcass was found on June 11 from Rajpur forest range probably died on June 6,” the official added. “These forest staff allegedly failed to inform senior officials about it till June 11. They allegedly indulged in serious negligence in duty.”

Akbar said the autopsy report revealed that one of the elephant died…

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