Kerala Kaumudi Online
Saturday, 25 May 2024 11.13 PM IST

Wrapped in trunk and thrashed to ground; 50-year-old farmer's death sparks protest in Pathanamthitta


PATHANAMTHITTA: Biju Mathew, farmer of Perunad Thulapally Kudilil house was shockingly trampled to death by a wild tusker on Monday. Biju and his wife Daisy came out of the house after hearing a noise and went straight ahead to the field to check their crops, but were ambushed by the giant elephant. Daisy scurried back to the house and was saved.

The incident happened at 1:30 am on Monday. Biju and his wife came out after hearing the sound of coconuts being plucked in the field adjacent to the yard. By the time the headlamp flashlight turned on, the elephant rushed into the yard wrapped Biju around with the trunk and thrashed him to the ground. The elephant returned to the forest by the time the neighbours rushed to the spot hearing Daisy scream. By that time, Biju was dead.

Biju’s house is situated on land adjacent to the forest area. Since Sunday, the people in this region have been hearing the trumpeting of elephants. Even the locals have previously informed the forest officials about the incident but no necessary action was taken. Police had to come from Pampa to forcedly shift Biju’s body to the hospital, but the locals protested against the move.

It was only after the intervention of district collector S Prem Krishnan IAS that the locals allowed the dead body to be taken to the hospital. On hearing the information, Anto Antony MP staged a sit-in at the Kanmala Forest Office to protest against the negligence of the Forest Department.

Locals also engaged in a clash with police during the protest march to the Kanmala Forest Office. The locals also blocked the Erumeli-Ilavungal road for several hours. NDA candidate Anil Antony, DCC president Satish Kochuparampil and others also reached the spot. The locals left after the forest department officials assured them that they would find a solution to the forest encroachment.

Minister Veena George and Pramod Narayan MLA reached Biju's house and comforted his wife. The district collector handed over Rs 5 lakh to the family. Biju's cremation will be held on Tuesday at Thulapally St. Thomas Marthomma Church.

Biju’s Children: Binsi, Binson and Bijo. Son-in-law: Jose Lee.

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