Conflict on rise in IIT-M too, three hurt in jackal attack
The man-animal conflict in IIT Madras has once again came to fore. According to sources, three people sustained grievous injuries in jackals’ attack on the wee hours of Saturday and an agitated group of people reportedly caught the animal and beat it to death. One of the victims was identified as Gangareddy, who came to visit a relative in the campus. He was allegedly bitten by the animal, which apparently tried to pull him inside the forest. The incident happened in the E-type quarters.
Geetha, a relative of the victim and working as an office assistant in biotechnology department, told
Express: “At around 4 am, my dogs at home and monkeys started making loud noises outside the house and my uncle Gangareddy, who came from Hyderabad to attend my daughter wedding, got out to see what was happening. Around 5-6 jackals had strayed into the residential area and one of them tried to jump into our compound. Seeing that, another relative of mine tried to scare the animal away with a stick. But, the animal managed to catch the ankle of my uncle and tried to drag him into the forest. He was badly injured,” she explained.
One of the private security guards employed by IIT Madras was also bitten by the animal, when he tried to come to the rescue of Gangareddy. Following this, three more security personnel allegedly gathered and beat the animal to death with sticks.
A forest official, who investigated the matter and recorded the statements of security personnel, said it was a female animal and pregnant. “The security personnel confessed that they beat the animal to death and buried the carcass. They weren’t able to identify the spot where the animal was buried. We will continue the search and once the carcass is recovered and postmortem is done, all the accused would be booked under wildlife act and remanded,” the official attached to Guindy National Park said, and accused the IIT Madras of not reporting wildlife deaths to the forest department.
Wildlife activists allege that habitat degradation, fragmentation and increasing biotic pressure would be the reasons for these animals straying out of forests. “Post Vardah cyclone and removal of Seemai
Karuvelam following court’s directions, the animals’ natural habitat has been destroyed. Jackals are a source of rabies virus,” said animal activist Antony Clement Rubin to Express.