By Mizan Rahman Dhaka
A writ petition was filed with the high court (HC) yesterday seeking its directive for collecting 10mn taka ($125,000) as compensation from those responsible for the death of Indian elephant called ‘Bangabahadur’ (Hero of Bengal). Supreme court lawyer Yunus Ali Akand filed the writ petition with the relevant section of the high court.
In the petition, Yunus Ali also sought a directive to take legal action against the government employees who failed to rescue and save the elephant.
Another directive was sought to form a judicial inquiry committee, led by an HC judge, to probe elephant’s death and submit the report before the court as soon as possible.
The environment and forests secretary, fisheries and livestock secretary, local government and rural development and cooperatives secretary, home secretary, fisheries department’s director general and Jamalpur deputy commissioner have been made respondents to the petition.
Indian elephant ‘Bangabahadur’ that entered the Bangladesh territory floating with floodwater currents about one and a half months ago died at Koyra village in Sarishabari sub-district of Jamalpur district on Tuesday. The elephant was swept away with floodwater from Assam in India into Kurigram district on June 28.
It wandered across Bogra, Sirajganj, finally into Dewanganj of Jamalpur district along the Brahmaputra and the Jamuna rivers for about one and a half months, looking for shelter and food while struggling against the floodwater.
Finally, the elephant took shelter at Koyra village.
Meanwhile, the forest department, as per the directives of the ministry of environment and forest, formed a five-member probe body to investigate the cause of death of the wild elephant from India.
Divisional forest officer (DFO) of Mymensingh, Gobinda Roy, formed the probe body, making Abdur Rahman, assistant conservator of Jamalpur forest department, its chief.
The committee has been asked to submit its report within seven days, said the DFO.
The other four members of the body are Nizam Uddin, veterinary surgeon of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Safari Park in Gazipur; Mostafizur Rahman, assistant veterinary surgeon of Bangabandhu Safari Park in Cox’s Bazaar; Mohamed Kamruzzaman, conservator of wildlife management and nature conservation in Sherpur; and Ashim Kumar Mallick, wildlife inspector of forest department.
Meanwhile, following an autopsy, Bangabahadur was buried at around 7:30pm the same day at the village where he was captured and died — Koyra under Sharishabari sub-district of Jamalpur.
Visceral organs collected from the elephant have been sent to Central Disease Investigation Laboratory (CDIL) in Dhaka for confirming the cause of its death and it might be at least a week before the test results are received, he added.
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