Bison attacks: Kerala govt announces compensation to kin of deceased; 'Shoot order' in Erumeli

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Representational Image | Photo: ANI

Kottayam/Kollam: Three persons were killed on Friday morning in two different incidents of attack by gaurs (bisons) at Erumeli and Anchal in Kottayam and Kollam districts respectively, police said.

Chackochan (70) and Thomas (71) were killed in Erumeli after a gaur that ventured into a rubber plantation in Kottayam district attacked them around 8 AM. Meanwhile, Samuel (64) was killed at a place near Anchal (about 90 km from Erumeli), located in the eastern part of Kollam district in a separate gaur attack.

In a related incident, another gaur caused panic among locals when it strayed into a habitation near Chalakudy (which is at a distance of about 120 km from Erumeli), located in Thrissur District.

State minister V N Vasavan said the government will provide compensation of Rs 10 lakh each for the families of the three deceased.

Forest Minister A K Saseendran told PTI that the Kottayam collector has already announced the compensation and the process of disbursing it will be completed in Kollam too soon.

"The compensation will be handed over to the next of kin," Saseendran said.

Earlier in the day, the Kottayam district collector told the media that the first installment of the compensation will be transferred to the account of the family on Saturday itself.

The collector also said that a Rapid Response Team from Ranni will be stationed at Erumely in the coming days to handle the gaur situation.

The government has also given authority to the police and the fire force in Erumeli to shoot the gaur if it ventures into human habitats and turn aggressive, after local residents protested at Kannamala near Erumeli and blocked traffic along the busy Erumeli-Pampa road for hours, demanding a government order to shoot down the animal.

A large contingent of police was deployed in the area as the mob turned against forest officials, alleging lapses on their part.

However, the protest was withdrawn after the government announced the compensation and then decided to shoot the animal in case it ventures into a human habitat again.

A senior forest official told PTI that Thomas, who was engaged in rubber tapping inside the plantation which was near the forest area, was attacked first by the gaur.

"As per reports, it initially attacked the rubber tapper and later hit the owner of a nearby house, who had come out after hearing some noise," the official said.

He said forest officials from the Erumeli division and other nearby divisions visited the spot.


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