Naveen orders Crime Branch probe into death of 7 elephants

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Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik expressed deep concern over the death of seven elephants due to electrocution in Dhenkanal district and ordered a Crime Branch inquiry into the incident.

The CM further directed concerned officials to take appropriate action in case of any criminal negligence.

The seven elephants were electrocuted after coming in contact with a live electric wire at Kamalanga village under Sadar Forest Range in Dhenkanal district on Friday night. The carcasses of the pachyderms were found on Saturday morning.

On Saturday, six officials, three each from the forest department and the Central Electricity Supply Utility of Odisha (CESU), were placed under suspension while one was dismissed from service for dereliction of duty in connection with the deaths of the elephants.

The officials who have been placed under suspension are Dhenkanal range officer Prasanna Biswal, Meramundali section forester Pravakar Rana and forest guard Girish Deuri.

Similarly, GM (electrical) Naresh Pattnaik, SDO Artatran Nayak and Meramundali lineman Firoz Panda, all CESU employees, have been suspended.

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