Despite death of father-son duo, illegal electric fencing continues in Mysuru

MYSURU: On June 10, police arrested a farm owner and his brother under the Electricity Act, 2003, Section 304 of the IPC for culpable homicide and SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act after a father-son tribal duo was electrocuted in their property. The tragedy in HD Kote taluk occurred as the fence was connected to high-voltage electricity, in contravention with rules laid out by the forest department, which allows only solar-powered boundaries. However, there was no further action against the illegal high-voltage electricity connections to farm fences which are rampant in villages close to forest areas in the district.
It was only after TOI brought the issue before the deputy commissioner Abhiram G Sankar that he directed the authorities concerned to act against this illegal activity.

HD Kote police officers said that the illegal practice of connecting farm fences to high-voltage power to prevent wild animals from destroying crops is rampant in the region. “But we find it difficult to trace them as farm owners connect high-voltage power to fence during night and disconnect them by morning,” said an officer.

“I have asked HD Kote tahsildar to coordinate with Cescom authorities to find out and act against illegal electric fences,” said Sankar.

The tragedy was the first case in which tribals were electrocuted due to on the fringes of Bandipur and Nagarahole forest areas.

After the bodies of 40-year-old Madaiah and his son Praveen, 20, were found floating in Kapila river, police found that it was the handiwork of farm owner Marigowda and his brother Nijalingappa. Madaiah and Praveen were electrocuted in the high-voltage electric fencing of the farm near Anagatti Haadi in HD Kote taluk on June 8. Fearing police case, Marigowda and Nijalingappa dumped the bodies in the river. The bodies were discovered on June 10.

Several wild animals, including elephants, have become victims of electrocution in farmland where high-voltage electric fencing is erected. Some farm owners even resort to the illegal practice of getting power supply to the fence directly from the electricity poles.

The tragedy occurred when Madaiah and Praveen were returning after collecting honey. Madaiah accidentally touched the laid in Marigowda’s farm. Praveen went to his father’s rescue, but met with the same fate.

Marigowda had connected electricity to the fence to save sweet potato crop from wild animals.

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