Autopsy report rules out foul play in deaths of 18 jumbos in Assam

Meanwhile, an FIR was filed on Thursday holding some senior forest officials and a power company responsible for the alleged choking of the elephant corridor at the site of the incident.

Published: 03rd June 2021 07:14 PM  |   Last Updated: 03rd June 2021 07:14 PM   |  A+A-

Deepor Beel, Assam

A herd of Asiatic wild elephants in search of food at Deepor Beel Wild Life Sanctuary on the outskirts of Guwahati. (File photo | PTI)

Express News Service

GUWAHATI: The Assam government has ruled out any foul play, such as a conscious attempt of electrocution, revenge killing, poisoning, anthrax outbreak etc, in the deaths of 18 elephants at the Kundali hills in Nagaon district last month.

"From the available history, detailed study of the circumstantial evidence at the site, study of gross and histopathological lesions, laboratory reports nullifying the presence of Anthrax-like bacilli and any toxins or its metabolites in the submitted samples and correlation with the available meteorological data that prevailed during that period, in our opinion, the 18 elephants… died due to electrocution by lightning," the state's forest department said on Thursday based on the "diagnosis" of the post-mortem report.

ALSO READ | Finally, Assam’s 'Elephant Doctor' gets his dues

The autopsy was carried out by a 10-member team of veterinarians and animal experts. As per spot evidence, the death of the elephants in the herd may not be attributed to any infectious pathological agent or any toxin or poison, the forest department said.

Earlier, the government had sought the views of national and international experts and organizations based on the preliminary report of the team of veterinarians and photographic evidences collected at the site. Dr Markus Hofmeyr, a wildlife veterinarian who is the Director of Rhino Recovery Fund, and Vivek Menon, Chair, Asian Elephant Specialist Group, IUCN, suggested that the cause of deaths was suspected lightning strike.

Meanwhile, Apurba Ballav Goswami, who is an Assam-based environmentalist and senior journalist, filed an FIR with the police on Thursday holding some senior forest officials and a power company responsible for the alleged choking of the elephant corridor at the site of the incident.

"At the foothills of Bamuni Pahar, there has been a village named Mikir Bamuni Grant village. M/s Azure Power Forty Private Ltd. has been accorded clearance to develop 90MW of solar power by Assam Power Distribution Company Ltd. Of this allocation, the company has chosen to develop a 15 MW installed capacity solar power project over 93 acres of land. However, the village, on which the solar park is developed; is part of an active elephant corridor," Goswami wrote in the copy of his FIR.

ALSO READ | Assam potato merchant balances book of life by giving employment, financial aid to poor

He said developing the solar plant resulted in the obstruction of habitation and the movement of elephants. The fencing around the solar park compelled the herd to change route and they finally faced the disaster, he claimed.

"A Fact-Finding Committee (FFC) observed that M/s Azure Power Forty Private Ltd has secured land by means, which are in gross variance of law. After careful review of various documents, court proceedings, field observations and interactions with various community members and state officials, the FFC concluded that transfer of land to Azure Power was carried out in violation of key provisions of Assam Fixation of Ceiling on Land Holdings Act, 1956, Assam (Temporarily settled Areas) Tenancy Act, 1971, Assam Land Revenue Re-Assessment Act, 1936, and is contrary to the Assam Land Policy, 2019 and also the Assam Solar Policy, 2017," he further wrote.


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp