The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has sought action taken reports (ATR) from the Secretary of Environment and Forest and Dhenkanal Collector on the human casualty and loss of livelihood of villagers in the district due to elephant menace. The NHRC took the step acting on a petition filed by Supreme Court lawyer and human rights activist Radhakanta Tripathy.
Tripathy stated that the Environment and Forest department and the district administration have failed to ensure basic human rights of the villagers even as man-animal conflict has gone up.
He cited the examples of human casualty and injuries caused by the elephants in different villages for years. Besides damaging the houses, the animals are targeting stocked food due to depletion of forest cover, he added.
The petitioner requested the NHRC to send a team of officials to visit the affected villages to assess the damage.
He also sought a direction to the State Government to provide medical care to the injured villagers free of cost and houses under Indira Awas Yojana to those who have lost their houses in the elephant attack.
He further demanded adequate compensation to the family of the deceased and the injured and the farmers who have lost their crops.
Tripathy also sought to know what steps the Government had taken to resolve prolonged man-animal conflict.