A section of hillside farmers owing allegiance to the We Farm farmers’ collective on Thursday resumed their sit-in in front of the Peruvannamoozhi forest office alleging that the department failed to control the wild elephant menace in Chakkittappara panchayat.
It was on July 10 that large acres of agricultural land came under the attack of wild elephants. Following the incident, a farmer and his family members had resorted to a sit-in in front of the Peruvannamoozhi forest range office. On Wednesday, a wild tusker again entered his field and caused huge damage.
Leaders of We Farm complained that the situation remained the same even after a recent discussion chaired by the Divisional Forest Officer to settle farmers’ complaints. Though one of the farmers who suffered serious loss in wild elephant attack staged a sit-in to draw the department’s attention, it failed to evoke any favourable response, they claimed.
Joy Kannanchira, chairman of We Farm, said the settler farmers in the area suffered a loss of ₹40 lakh within the past two months alone in the wild elephant attack. “Rubber tappers are not even in a situation to do the job due to elephant scare. The animal should be tranquillised and shifted to another area for ensuring farmers’ safety,” he said.
“Our plan is to continue with the protest till the animal is chased away from the spot. The Forest Department is showing a cold approach without understanding farmers’ concerns,” said Jijo Thomas, a functionary of the We Farm collective.
The protesters also sought department-level action against the Peruvannamoozhi range officer who allegedly ignored farmers’ grievances.
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