GUWAHATI: A wild buffalo of the Kaziranga National Park was gunned down but not before it ran amok, goring two persons to death.
The animal, which appeared in the park’s Biswanath division, had killed a villager, Jayanta Das (45), on Thursday morning. The death had sparked off a protest with the locals torching a forest range office and a vehicle at the site.
As efforts were being made by forest guards and police personnel to drive the animal away, it gored another person, Sukur Ali (55), to death and injured two others on Friday morning. Eventually, the animal was gunned down by the personnel. “It was shot dead in self-defence. We are not sure if it died in the firing by police personnel or forest guards,” Deputy Conservator of Forest Mukut Das told The New Indian Express.
He said that the animal had charged at the personnel which endangered their lives. The two injured people were admitted to a hospital and stated to be out of danger. Forest officials blamed community fishing, organised as a part of the celebration of harvest festival Bhogali Bihu, for the incidents.
On January 13 and 14, over 3,000 people had entered the First Addition to the park for community fishing defying prohibitory orders clamped under Section 144 of the CrPC. “As people unlawfully entered the park, the animals moved from southern side to northern side. Some crossed over the Brahmaputra and entered north bank area (Biswanath). Community fishing is a part of our culture and tradition but we cannot do it everywhere. The Kaziranga National Park is for the wildlife,” a senior forest official said.
He said when a large number of people enter an area protected for the wildlife, it is natural the animals will move here and there. “When they enter a new area, they get disturbed. Life is life, whether it is that of an animal or a human being. The incidents were really unfortunate. We should not compromise with any community-related activities when it comes to conservation,” the official added.