Woman's death in elephant attack:Kerala village panchayat orders closure of resorts under its jurisdiction

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Wayanad (Ker), Jan 25 (PTI): A Kerala village panchayat on Monday ordered the closure of all tourist resorts under its jurisdiction, two days after a 26-year-old woman was trampled to death by a wild elephant at a resort here.

Authorities of the Meppadi gram panchayat in Wayanad directed all resorts in the panchayat to close down till further orders, official sources here said.

Shahana, a college lecturer hailing from Kannur district,was attacked around 8 pm at the remote Rain forest resort,located on the forest fringe frequented by wild elephants,on Saturday.

Shahana and two others came out of their tent on hearing a trumpeting sound. While the other two managed to run away to safety, she was killed, police said.

Earlier, district collector Dr Adeela Abdulla had ordered the closure of the Rain Forest resort after she visited the place on Sunday along with the Divisional Forest Officer and the Vythiri Tahsildar.

A scrutiny of documents revealed that the resort had no license.It also did not have any permission from the forest department to set up tents in the resort, which is close to the forest, or necessary safety measures.

The Meppadi gram panchayat president Omana Ramesh also confirmed that the resort had no proper license to function.

In the light of such a breach of rules by a resort, resulting in the tragic death of a tourist, the panchayat council, which met on Monday. decided to order the closure of all resorts functioning in the panchayat.

According to a forest official, district authorities have decided to verify the documents and safety conditions of all the resorts in the neighbouring forest areas in the coming days.PTI CORR/LGKBN WELCOME CORR/LGKBN WELCOME