A Supreme Court lawyer in Bangladesh has petitioned the High Court in Dhaka to order the government to recover Tk 1 crore as compensation from those responsible for the death of ‘Bangabahadur’, a wild Indian elephant which was swept away 1,700 km by raging floods in the Brahmaputra river.
Eunus Ali Akond pleaded the court to order the government to constitute a judicial inquiry to probe the incident. In his petition, Akond said that the government is responsible for protecting and preserving the environment and wildlife under Article 18 (A) of the Constitution.
The government failed to discharge its constitutional duties as it could not rescue the elephant, he has alleged according to a report in The Dailystar.
He pleaded the court to order the government to recover Tk 1 crore (about USD 1.27 lakh) from those responsible for the elephant’s death.
Bangabahadur (Bengal’s Hero), a fully grown male elephant which weighed 4 tonnes, died of heart attack in the northern Jamalpur district, about 200 km from capital Dhaka on Tuesday.
It was separated from its herd on June 27 in Assam where monsoon floods have made life difficult and got washed away in the streams of the mighty Brahmaputra to downstream Bangladesh.
On its way from India, it was forced to stay in marshes as the highlands were occupied by flood-hit people who were unwilling to let the frightened animal share their shelters. Forest officials in Bangladesh tranquilised it four times.
Witnesses and people in the neighbourhood suspected that excessive tranquillising might have partly led to its death.
Akond has served a notice to the government, alleging Bangabahadur might have died due to tranquilizer overdose.
On Tuesday, 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 Bangabahadur’s death. Bangabahadur was buried on the day of his death at Koyra, the village where he was captured and died following an autopsy.
(Feature image source: Twitter| Stever Miller)