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Updated February 18th, 2024 at 16:10 IST

No Hospital in Wayanad: BJP Hits Back As Rahul Gandhi Meets Families of Elephant Attack Victims

Rahul reached the residence of Forest Department watcher VP Paul, who was trampled to death by a wild elephant in Wayanad, on Sunday and expressed condolences.

Reported by: Digital Desk
Congress MP Rahul Gandhi meets family of Elephant Attack victim in Wayanad
Congress MP Rahul Gandhi meets family of Elephant Attack victim in Wayanad | Image: X/INCIndia
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Wayanad: The Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) hit out at Congress MP Rahul Gandhi over his visit to the victims of human-animal conflict in Wayanad, Kerala on Sunday, February 18. The BJP said that Rahul Gandhi is a tourist in his own constituency. 

Congress MP Rahul Gandhi reached the residence of Forest Department watcher VP Paul, who was trampled to death by a wild elephant in Wayanad on Sunday, and expressed his condolences. Yesterday, Rahul Gandhi abruptly halted his 'Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra' in Varanasi, and left for his constituency of Wayanad, prompted by public protest over the deaths of residents in wild elephant-attack. 

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Reacting to the same, Union Minister & BJP leader V Muraleedharan said that Rahul Gandhi is unaware of things happening in his constituency. Muraleedharan claimed that the forest watcher died due to lack of timely treatment, claiming that Wayanad, Rahul Gandhi's Lok Sabha constituency, does not have a medical college where such people can be treated.

“He (Rahul Gandhi) is a tourist in his own constituency. He goes there once in 5-6 months. He should take care of the issues of the constituency that has been facing man-animal conflict for more than a week. Rahul Gandhi did not find time to visit till now. The reason for the death of a forest watchman was that he did not get the required medical assistance. Wayanad does not have a medical college where such people can be treated. Rahul Gandhi should have taken care of his constituency and ensured that basic medical facilities were there,” said the BJP leader. 

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Rahul Gandhi demands immediate compensation

Upon visiting the family, Rahul Gandhi said, “We've told the administration that they need to pay the compensation quickly and effectively and not delay the compensation that has been happening over the last couple of months.” 

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Gandhi said that three states- Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka need to enhance corporation among themselves. “We also suggested to look into setting up and testing an early warning system. There's a question of interstate cooperation between Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. We mentioned to them that we will also play a role in trying to improve the coordination,” said Rahul Gandhi in Wayanad. 

Protests erupt in Wayanad

The death due to human-animal conflict in Kerala has led to a massive protest in Pakkam near Pulpally in Wayanad district on Saturday. Gandhi has also written a letter to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan requesting decisive action over the incident

According to Kerala Forest Minister AK Saseendran, the victim was attacked when the elephant ventured into a residential area near Mananthavady. After the incident, the Kerala government announced Rs 10 lakh compensation and also assured a job to one of the family members of the deceased.

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Simultaneously, another incident was reported where a cow was found dead, purportedly due to a wild animal attack near Kenichira this morning. Enraged locals brought the cow's body and placed it on the bonnet of a forest department jeep, intensifying the demand for immediate action.

CM Vijayan to hold high-level meeting 

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that a high-level meeting will be held to discuss the issues related to wildlife attacks in Wayanad on February 20. the meeting will include Revenue, Forest and Local Self-Government Department ministers along with representatives. 

The situation remains tense in Wayanad as authorities grapple with the increasing frequency of wildlife-related incidents. The upcoming high-level meeting is anticipated to address strategies and measures to mitigate the rising challenges posed by such attacks in the region. 

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Published February 18th, 2024 at 16:10 IST

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