The army has said no elephant was killed or injured during the firing practice by its personnel near Siliguri after the forest department claimed that one tusker’s death was caused by the shelling by the military.
On Tuesday, the tusker’s carcass was found in the Saraswatipur beat area of the Baikunthapur forest division. Foresters said prima facie, it appeared that the elephant had died after being hit by shells fired by the army during practice at the Teesta field firing range.
They also referred to an elephant carcass spotted in the Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary and expressed the apprehension that it had also died because of a similar reason.
The army, however, came up with a different clarification. In a press release issued on Wednesday night, the army said: “It is informed that no tusker was killed or injured at the firing range impact area. It is clarified that no movement of tuskers was reported by various agencies like police, villagers, and patrolling parties near the range on that day.”
The army said the area was properly scanned before the firing practise.