Chennai: Following the death of R. Venkatesh, member of the Rapid Response Team (RRT), Anti-Poaching Watchers and other associations have requested concerned officials to pay the family of the deceased, Rs 10 lakh as compensation.
The body of the 28-year old former RRT member was handed over to his family on Thursday. Around 200 members and officials affiliated to anti-depredation squads, Anti-Poaching Watchers (APWs) and RRT members from Coimbatore, Pollachi, Tirupur, Sathyamangalam and Nilgiris besides higher officials from the Tamil Nadu Forests Department, gathered at the Coimbatore Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) mortuary to pay their last respects.
Members of RRT do not come under the regular payroll of the Forest department and thus are not entitled to receive Rs ten lakh compensation if life is lost while on duty. Instead family of deceased members are paid annual funds by the government. Considering the fact that RRT members also put their life at risk in the various forest ranges, in keeping man-animal conflict at bay, the compensation was sought for victim Venkatesh. According to sources APWs and offers of higher ranks are insured and can receive compensation of Rs 10 lakh if life is lost while on duty.
It may be noted that Venkatesh was trampled by a tusker around 1:30 am at Doctor Thottam in Pappanaickenpalayam near Thadagam when RRT members and anti- poaching watchers (APWs) were involved in driving back two wild elephants into the forest post midnight on Thursday....