Maneka Gandhi Accuses Prajwal Revanna for shielding accused in Hassan elephant death

Dr B Thomas (Special correspondent)

T aking a strong objection about the development in elephant tusk case registered in CK Acchukattu police station,MP Maneka Gandhi,Animal rights activist wrote to Chief Minister,Basavaraj Bommai demanding high level inquiry into the case.

The police who busted the racket of tusk smuggling after the elephant electrocuted in Hassan forest range.

The case was suddenly transferred to forest department after obtaining court permission.

The police so far arrested two persons but the forest officials involvement has not been probed.

Taking a serious note on the progress of the case,Ms.Gandhi has sought Chief Minister Intervention and demanded high level probe to ascertain the role of forest department officials and strict action.

Last year a large tusker elephant (there are less than 1,000 left in India) was electrocuted by a farmer deliberately.

The tusks were cut off and the elephant was buried with the help of a JCB.The tusks were offered for sale in Bengaluru,”Gandhi said in the letter.

She further stated that “local MP Prajwal Revanna tried to bring illegal pressure to have the case transferred to his local forest department so that the case could be closed.DCP Shri Harish Pandey refused.The accused are supporters of Revanna’s party.

The MP also alleged that “RFO Hasan is the main culprit behind this corruption and subversion of the law.

As soon as DCP,Shri Harish Pandey was transferred, this RFO got the present DCP Shri Krishna Kant to transfer the entire case to his Hasan forest department.

The idea is to bury the case to please the local MP Shri Revanna and to see that the accused do not go to jail.”

“I would be deeply grateful if this entire case was taken away from the Hasan Forest department and given to the Vigilance department. RFO Hassan should also be investigated for corruption,” the letter read.

What’s the case?

In March this year,Chennammanakere Achukattu police had arrested two men for trying to sell tusks of elephant in Bengaluru.

During the interrogation it was revealed that, last year, an elephant had died due to illegal electrocution in Veerapur village fields of Hassan taluk.

The elephant had died in fields belonging to a farmer named Chandregowda,he along with a few others silently buried the tusker in fields belonging to another farmer named Nagaraj.

After a few months,the accused dug the pit where the elephant was buried and removed the tusks and tried to sell it in Bengaluru when they were arrested.

Gandhi in her letter to the CM alleged that the accused intentionally killed the elephant for its tusks.

She also claimed that the accused are out on bail as RFO Hassan filed a similar case filed in his jurisdiction due to duplication of cases,the accused approached the court and got bail.

The letter also accuses Prajwal Revanna of trying to help the accused to get rid of charges against them.

Reacting to the allegations,Prajwal said that he has not helped anyone in the case.

Brushing aside remarks of former Union minister Maneka Gandhi that he is allegedly interfering with a case where some people from Hassan were caught while trying to sell elephant tusks, Hassan MP Prajwal Revanna told reporters in New Delhi if the allegations are true, the governments at the Centre and state, both ruled by BJP, can investigate it thoroughly.

He said Maneka should have aired her views after going through the issue.The MP said that he knew about the elephant death, but was unaware the accused had removed the tusks and tried to sell them.

I did not pressurise any police officials to transfer the case to my hometown Hassan.I am ready to face any action if the BJP leader proves her allegation with evidence,he added.