The Joint Task Force (JTF), established by the government of Odisha for the safety of elephants, submitted an affidavit before the Orissa High Court on Friday promising to create an action plan for elephant safety by the end of the month of December.
Last month, the Orissa High Court had shown deep resentment over the lack of an action plan for the protection of elephants.
On the other hand, an affidavit detailing an elephant’s death in Odisha was presented by the senior Chief Conservator of Forests, Debidutta Biswal, who is also a member of the JTF.
After receiving the two affidavits, the bench of Chief Justice S. Muralidhar and Justice M. S. Raman set the next hearing for November 15.
The High Court was informed by JTF Chairman Dr. V Manu Nair’s affidavit that a meeting took place on November 3rd. The action plan will be created in accordance with the proposed framework. The task force team is now seeking public and professional input on elephant safety.
The affidavit informed the bench that a comprehensive action plan would subsequently be presented to the court.
Jatindra Kumar Panda, a JTF member, also filed an affidavit regarding the death of elephants. The document states that between 2018 and 2022, 14 criminal cases including allegations of elephant poaching were filed.
Three and two cases, respectively, were reported in the Boudh and Sambalpur districts. Four cases were reported in the Athagarh region of Cuttack district, two in the Debagarh and Dhenkanal regions, and one in the Ghumsar region of the Bolangir district.
During the period 27 persons were nabbed on suspicion of poaching elephants.