Mayurbhanj: Two contract-based forest department employees, Deepak Munda and Bapi Majhi, were terminated for allegedly throwing fireballs at a herd of elephants in Dumuria village, Mayurbhanj district. The incident occurred under the Karanjia division, where villagers were attempting to drive away the elephants.
The use of fireballs by Munda and Majhi was captured in a viral video that circulated on social media, sparking nationwide condemnation. In response to the outcry, the Karanjia Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) initiated an investigation into the matter. The probe confirmed that Munda and Majhi were indeed responsible for throwing fireballs at the elephants. As a consequence of their actions, they were swiftly dismissed from their positions.
The Dudhiani range officer, Pradeep Prusty, clarified that forest department officers had not authorized the use of fireballs to disperse the elephants. He attributed the employees’ actions to fear and panic when the elephants strayed into the village, leading them to resort to such extreme measures.
This incident has raised concerns about human-wildlife conflict and highlights the importance of appropriate training and guidelines for forest department personnel dealing with such situations. By promptly addressing the issue, the forest department aims to prevent similar incidents in the future and ensure the safety of both humans and wildlife.