Guwahati: Assam Forest Minister Pramila Rani Brahma has instructed officials to lodge an FIR against Baba Ramdev's Patanjali hours after an elephant died from a fall into a deep pit at the firm's project site.
The order comes hours after a female elephant died at a project site of Patanjali Herbal and Mega Food Park near Tezpur in Assam.
The female pachyderm was reportedly the second to fall into the pit.
“It is a very tragic incident. While the area is known for frequent elephant movement, what appears is that the industrial park land given to Patanjali is actually part of an elephant corridor.
“Local people too have said that elephant movement has been there for decades.
“I have asked my department officials to lodge an FIR against the company which is setting up a factory there,” The Indian Express quoted Brahma as saying.
“Everybody in that area knows that there are several herds of wild elephants in there. The people implementing the project should have taken extra precaution. Why did they leave such huge pits unattended?
“It is nothing but sheer negligence and insensitivity. They have taken the matter very lightly,” Brahma added.
Patanjali representative Udayaditya Goswami has stressed that the area is not an elephant corridor, but herds of elephants do come down from Arunachal Pradesh during the harvest season to feed on ripe paddy.
“We are aware of the elephant movement and so had deployed six persons to keep a watch on it. But unfortunately, two elephants fell into a 9-feet pit after a calf fell first early Wednesday morning,” the Express quoted the minister as saying.
The Assam government has allotted 150 acres of land in the AIDC complex at Balipara near Tezpur to Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali Herbal and Mega Food Park.
Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal had recently laid the foundation stone of the project in the presence of most of his cabinet colleagues.