Memorial for elephant attack victim Manikandan triggers a raging debate

The demand for the construction of a memorial for forest officer S Manikanadan, who died in a wild elephant attack in Nagarhole Tiger Reserve, has turned into a raging debate.

The officials of the forest department, IFS Association, retired forest officials and conservationists are divided over the type of memorial to be constructed. Conservator of Forests and Director of Nagarahole Tiger Reserve, Manikandan, 45, had died on the spot inside the tiger reserve when he was attacked by a wild tusker during an inspection on March 3.

A few IFS officers are of the opinion that there is no need for a concrete memorial inside the reserve. They say instead the department should plant trees or maintain a tree park in his name which will have better impact. A section of officers, empathetic towards the familys sentiments, state that it would be just to have a memorial inside.

State Wildlife Board member Rana George is also in favour of a memorial being constructed inside the tiger reserve. However, he wants it to be constructed on the road side, so that it becomes a tourist spot.

Meanwhile, Punati Sridhar, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests maintained that nothing was decided on the matter.

K M Chinnappa, noted conservationist and Trustee Wildlife First, said that there is a need for a policy on the memorial issue. “It would be improper to build a memorial anywhere inside the tiger reserve.

A policy enabling construction of memorials outside forests, but within office compounds of departmental staff, is needed, he suggested.

He also sought a probe into the officers death to ascertain if protocol was followed during field inspection.

The demand for the construction of a memorial for forest officer S Manikanadan, who died in a wild elephant attack in Nagarhole Tiger Reserve, has turned into a raging debate.

The officials of the forest department, IFS Association, retired forest officials and conservationists are divided over the type of memorial to be constructed. Conservator of Forests and Director of Nagarahole Tiger Reserve, Manikandan, 45, had died on the spot inside the tiger reserve when he was attacked by a wild tusker during an inspection on March 3.

A few IFS officers are of the opinion that there is no need for a concrete memorial inside the reserve. They say instead the department should plant trees or maintain a tree park in his name which will have better impact. A section of officers, empathetic towards the family’s sentiments, state that it would be just to have a memorial inside.

State Wildlife Board member Rana George is also in favour of a memorial being constructed inside the tiger reserve. However, he wants it to be constructed on the road side, so that it becomes a tourist spot.

Meanwhile, Punati Sridhar, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests maintained that nothing was decided on the matter.

K M Chinnappa, noted conservationist and Trustee Wildlife First, said that there is a need for a policy on the memorial issue. “It would be improper to build a memorial anywhere inside the tiger reserve.

A policy enabling construction of memorials outside forests, but within office compounds of departmental staff, is needed, he suggested.

He also sought a probe into the officer’s death to ascertain if protocol was followed during field inspection.

***

Note from Kannada.Club : This story has been auto-generated from a syndicated feed from http://www.deccanherald.com/content/666774/memorial-elephant-attack-victim-manikandan.html