Four forest officials suspended over elephant deaths in Chhattisgarh

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The Chhattisgarh forest department has suspended four officials, including a sub-divisional forest officer (SDFO), over the deaths of three elephants which took place earlier this week.

As per the suspension order, the officials have been found guilty of negligence in duty.

Bodies of the three female wild elephants were found in the jungles of Balrampur and Surajpur district between Tuesday and Thursday. All of them were from the same herd and were roaming in the forests of Surguja.

“The SDFO KS Khutiya was attached to Chief Conservator of Forest (Regional) Forest Circle of Surguja. Two forest rangers and one forest guard was also suspended,” said a senior officer.

A show cause notice has also been served to district forest officer (DFO) Balrampur, he added.

It is worth mentioning that on Thursday, the state’s forest minister Mohammad Akbar had ordered a high-level probe in the matter. The probe will be headed by former principal chief conservator of forest (PCCF).

Forest officials on Friday claimed that the first death was reported on Tuesday in Ganeshpur forest. The animal had died due to cardiac issues, they said.

The second death took place in the same beat on Wednesday - that elephant died due to toxicity and third one died because of infection, the forest officials claimed.

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