Wild boar attacks go unchecked in Kozhikode, Malappuram since LS polls declaration

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Since the Lok Sabha polls were declared, wild boars have been creating havoc in the state, especially in Kozhikode and Malappuram districts. That is because the empanelled shooters, who are licenced to kill rogue wild boars that pose a threat to human life and property, have been reigned in since the Model Code of Conduct came into effect on March 16.

The empanelled shooters had to surrender their weapons to the authorities. With no shooters around, the wild boar menace has gone unchecked in the last two months. Recently, a man and his son were attacked by a wild boar at Thamarassery in Kozhikode while on a bike at night. Kizhakkedath Binoy fractured his ribs and shoulder in the attack while his son was lucky to escape unhurt.

A week after the elections were declared, a woman in Mukkom was attacked by a wild boar while collecting firewood. A couple of weeks ago, a wild boar went on a rampage at Valanchery in Malappuram, injuring six persons, including a four-year-old. There have been other reports of wild boar attacks from Nilambur, Changaramkulam and other parts of Malappuram and Kozhikode in recent weeks.

Thamarassery, Puthuppadi, Kodenchery, Kattippara and Koodaranji grama panchayats are the worst affected by wild boar attacks in the Kozhikode district. While farmers and villagers have been struggling, an empanelled shooter in Kozhikode says they are helpless.

“It has been two months since we surrendered our guns to the authorities. During this period, the wild boars have created lots of issues. Most days we get calls from different parts of the district to shoot boars that have been ruining crops, but we are helpless,” said the shooter, who prefers anonymity. He used to shoot an average of three wild boars a week until two months ago and was paid Rs 1,000 per shoot.

Kizhakedath Binoy suffered multiple fractures in a wild boar attack. Photo: Special arrangement

A shooter from Malappuram shares the concern. “We are not criminals. We are licensed to use guns because we have proven that there is no chance of misuse,” he said.

Hands tied
Once the election dates were declared, the state government appointed a screening committee to decide on the matter of empanelled shooters. According to reports, the committee decided to take away all the weapons, including those in the possession of the empanelled shooters. Though the shooters approached the High Court, they were sent back to the committee comprising the district collector, and the decision was not amended. The shooters had to surrender their weapons by March 20.

The situation is different in neighbouring Wayanad district where 20 empanelled shooters were permitted to keep their rifles. “Hundreds of shooters now sit as onlookers while wild boars pose a big threat to human life and crops,” said George Joseph Kevalli, state coordinator of the shooters club under the Kerala Independent Farmers Association (KIFA). There are more than 100 empanelled shooters under KIFA.

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