The forest department of Tamil Nadu’s Tirupur have booked three tribal youths for allegedly attacking wild elephants. The youths allegedly hurled stones at the elephants and hit them with sticks in the restricted territory of the forest region of the district. The action was taken after some disturbing videos surfaced on various social media platforms in which three youths could be seen teasing and hurting the elephants and chasing them away with the help of dogs near Thirumoorthy dam settlement area.
The accused have been identified as 32-years-old P Selvam, T Kalimuthu (25) and J Arun Kumar (30), all belonging to Thirumurthimalai settlement. On Wednesday morning, a group of youths from the settlement apparently went to graze cattle in the forest area where they saw three elephants, including a calf, who came to the forest boundary of Thirumoorthy reservoir in Udumalpet range. On seeing them, the youths allegedly started harassing and attacking them.
One of the youths recorded videos of the act on his mobile phone and shared them with his friends which have now gone viral.
In a few video clips that have surfaced online, one youth can be seen closely trailing an elephant and thrashing it with a branch of a tree. When the animal retaliated and came charging, he managed to escape.
Tamil Nadu Forest Department is on the lookout for a group of men, all residents of Kodanthur tribal settlement in the Anamalai Tiger Reserve, after multiple videos of them torturing and teasing wild elephants surfaced in social media. A case has been registered. @THChennai pic.twitter.com/oqqlt7TDD6— Wilson Thomas (@wilson__thomas) May 6, 2021
A few men shot the videos from the ground as well as from tree tops while others tortured at least three elephants including a calf. pic.twitter.com/3vuDMINXFx— Wilson Thomas (@wilson__thomas) May 6, 2021
In another video, a tribal could be seen teasing a wild elephant by making noises. He further hurled a stone towards it. As the infuriated animal came towards the youth, he fled over an elevated rocky surface. A few of his accomplices standing above threw stones at the elephant, forcing it to run away. The tribal men also had a few dogs with them who kept barking at the elephants.
An FIR has been registered against the three tribal youths under sections 32, 39 and 51 of the Wild Life Protection Act and teams have been formed to nab them along with a few others involved in the incident.