Congress-led UDF boycotts all-party meet in Kerala on human-animal conflicts

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In Kerala's Wayanad district, the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) on Tuesday staged a walkout from an all-party meeting convened by the state government to address the escalating human-animal conflicts.

The meeting, aimed at discussing the rising incidents of wildlife attacks on humans, saw the opposition demanding the resignation of Forest Minister AK Saseendran and calling for Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's direct intervention.

Wayanad has been witnessing protests called by various political parties seeking action against the wild elephant menace and the back-to-back human casualties in the region.

Two people, including a forest department official, were killed by wild elephants, which strayed into human habitations last week. A total of three people have been killed in Wayanad in the last two months.

Congress legislators T Siddique and IC Balakrishnan led the protest, emphasising the community's growing frustration over the government's alleged inaction.

Explaining why they boycotted the meeting, Siddique said, "We will not discuss matters concerning Wayanad with these ministers. We made it very clear in the meeting that the Chief Minister should attend. The government has abandoned people here, leaving them vulnerable to wildlife."

The meeting was also marked by protests from Youth Congress activists who displayed black flags to the ministerial delegation upon their arrival in Sultan Bathery.

The UDF has called for a comprehensive approach to address the issue, including the speedy disbursement of compensation to victims, increased financial assistance, debt waivers, and improvements to local medical facilities.

Published By:

Aditi Sharma

Published On:

Feb 21, 2024

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