HC rejects writ petition for forming body to probe into elephant deaths

The High Court today summarily rejected a writ petition that sought its directive upon the government to form a high-standing committee to conduct an inquiry into the deaths of 84 wild elephants in Chattogram region in the last 19 years.

The bench of Justice JBM Hassan and Justice MdKhairul Alam passed the rejection order as the writ petitioner did not serve any demand of justice (legal) notice on the authorities concerned of the government for necessary action to this effect, Deputy Attorney General Noor Us Sadik told The Daily Star.

He said the authorities are duty bound to protect the wild animals as per section-36 of the Wild Animals Protection Act.

The writ petitioner could have sought remedy under this law, DAG Noor Us Sadik added.

Supreme Court lawyer Manoj Kumar Bhowmick on August 24 submitted the writ petition as a public interest litigation to the HC, also challenging the “negligence” of the authorities concerned to protect the wild elephants from unnatural deaths in Chattogram forest region.

In the petition, he said that the officials concerned of the forest department are constitutionally bound to protect the wild elephants but they failed to comply with the constitution as 84 elephants have reportedly died in last 19 years in Chattogram.

Manoj told The Daily Star that he filed the writ petition based on a report published in The Daily Star on August 23 on the death of wild elephants.

The report said, “According to forest department data, 106 elephants died in the Chattogram Forest Circle — which includes Cox’s Bazar, parts of Bandarban, Chattogram city, and Rangamati — in the last 19 years.

During this period, forest departments across this region filed only two cases and 74 general diaries in relation to elephant deaths.

Of these 106 elephants — 32 died in accidents, 29 of sickness, 22 from old age complications, 15 of electrocution, and eight from gunshots,” according to the report.

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