ASSAM
The six accused who electrocuted two elephants in Sivasagar on Saturday

A team of forest officials on Sunday arrested six persons in Digholdorioli area in Sivasagar district for electrocuting two wild Asian elephants.

The accused have been identified as Ankur Gogoi, Bulbul Gogoi, Manoj Gogoi, Pankaj Gogoi, Amar Gogoi and Runjun Chetia.

The incident occurred in Digholdorioli on December 26 when the six accused killed the wild elephants by laying illegal electric fencing around Rabi crops in cultivable land.

A team of forest officials reached the area on the same day and apprehended the six accused.

They were arrested on Sunday morning and produced before the chief judicial magistrate court in Sivasagar.

The court remanded them to judicial custody.

Also read: Centre hails Assam’s man-elephant conflict containment strategy

During interrogation, one of the accused admitted to having killed the animals to protect the crops which they have cultivated.

The Sivasagar Range under Sivasagar Territorial Forest Division registered a case against them under the Wildlife Protection Act and the  Wildlife (Protection) Assam Amendment Act, 2009.

“The veterinary officer seized material evidence from the field and the post mortem report showed signs of death by electrocution in both the elephants,” said Jayashree Naiding, divisional forest officer (territorial), Sivasagar division.

The Wildlife (Protection) Assam Amendment Act 2009 provides enhanced punishment as well as penalty and is triable in the sessions court.

A herd of elephants had also reportedly strayed into the Digholdorioli area on the night of December 25, damaging the properties of residents.

Although locals informed the forest department, they failed to receive any response.

Several people have also lost their lives in increasing instances of such man-animal conflicts in the past few years.

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