The Forest Department, as per the directives of the Ministry of Environment and Forest, on Tuesday evening formed a five-member probe body to investigate the cause of death of Bangabahadur — the wild elephant from India, reports our Jamalpur correspondent.
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 Bazar; Mohammad 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 upazila of Jamalpur.
The wild elephant was named Bangabahadur for its perilous journey across nearly 1,000 kilometres of submerged areas after it entered Bangladesh from India.
Bangabahadur got separated from his herd in Assam of India and on June 27 he entered Bangladesh through Chilmari of Kurigram, floating with currents of the Brahmaputra River.
A team of 17 rescuers from Bangladesh Forest Department were engaged to capture the wild creature from floodwaters and bring it to safety. On August 11 they tranquilised and captured Bangabahadur for the first time.
After it tore off the ropes and plunged back in flooded low land, the rescue team tranquilised Bangabahadur again on Sunday, August 14, and pulled it out onto a field nearby.
At around 11:30am on Monday, Bangabahadur suddenly collapsed and fell down on the waterlogged and muddy field where he remained tied down, unconscious, till he was declared dead on Tuesday, at 6:30am.
Mustafizur Rahman, assistant veterinary surgeon of Bangabandhu Safari Park at Cox’s Bazar, told our correspondent that the elephant might have suffered a heart attack. “There were multiple factors behind the heart attack. Stress, severe dehydration and electrolyte imbalance were the main factors.”
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.
LEGAL NOTICE TO THE GOVERNMENT
A Supreme Court lawyer yesterday sent a legal notice to the government, requesting it to form a judicial inquiry committee for investigating the cause of death of Bangabahadur, reports our correspondent.
The lawyer, Eunus Ali Akond, in the notice said Bangabahadur might have died due to tranquiliser overdose on August 16 at Koyra village under Sharishabari upazila of Jamalpur.
There might be irresponsibility and negligence on the part of the Forest Department in rescuing and treating of the elephant and a number of newspapers have reported that the elephant was killed, he added in the notice.
The people responsible for the death of the elephant should be tried and penalised with imprisonment and fines after conducting a judicial inquiry, Eunus said.
In the notice, he requested the government to form a judicial inquiry committee within 24 hours to unearth the reasons behind Bangabahadur’s death.
The lawyer also mentioned that if the government does not take necessary steps in 24 hours time, he would file a writ petition with the High Court, seeking necessary directives on the government.
The secretaries to the ministries of Fisheries and Livestock, Environment and Forest, Home Affairs and LGRD and Cooperatives; the Directorate of Livestock and the Deputy Commissioner of Jamalpur have been made respondents to the legal notice.