NET News Desk
The Assam Forest Department on Tuesday seized a railway engine in Guwahati for killing two elephants last month, under the provisions of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. The elephants (a mother and her calf) were mowed down by a speeding goods train at Lumding in Hojai district of Assam on September 27.
The Assam Forest Department has seized the goods train from Guwahati’s Bamunimaidan Railway Yard and the Loco Pilot and the Assistant Loco Pilot have been suspended by the Railways.
As per reports, the elephants were trying to cross a railway track, when the train surpassed the speed limit and mowed down the jumbos.
As per reports, Mahendra Kumar Yadava, IFS, Chief Wildlife Warden of Assam stated that one female elephant and her calf was killed by a goods train engine in Lumding RF on the September 27 this year and has been very vigorously pursued under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 against the railway authorities and the Department instituted an enquiry under the Act.
Reportedly, a team of forest officials proceeded to Bamunimaidan Loco Shed and seized the Diesel Loco Engine.
In a press statement issued by the Northeast Frontier Railways, NFR, it has stated that speed restriction was in place at the location. “Railway took serious note of the incidence, conducted an enquiry of its own and has initiated action against the defaulters.”
The Northeast Frontier Railway said the seizure of the engine was just a “procedural requirement”.
“It is not a first of its kind incident and is a procedural requirement for enquiry. There was no operational obstruction and the locomotive is currently in use of Railways,” the Northeast Frontier Railway stated.
NFR takes several steps & saves 61 elephants in current year.
Action against defaulters taken in the only case of elephant dashing during current financial year.
Seizure & release of locomotive by Forest Dept – a procedural requirement, not first of its kind. pic.twitter.com/KIST6ZM0a8
— Northeast Frontier Railway (@RailNf) October 21, 2020
Yadava said the railway authorities have been informed through written instructions to restrict the speed of trains in areas inside the Lumding reserve that are prone to the movement of wild elephants.
Meanwhile, Assam’s environment and forest minister Parimal Suklabaidya said that the department should not fail to take a tough stand against the railways and the killing of elephants on tracks must stop forthwith.