BNCA begins shadow probe into elephant killings
DOT Desk:  Bangladesh Nature Conservation Alliance (BNCA), a platform of 33 environmental organisations, has launched a shadow investigation into the recent elephant killing incidents in different parts of the country.It began the probe in Cox’s Bazar on Wednesday.
 As part of the investigation, a three-member team of the alliance led by Save Our Sea Secretary General Muhammad Anowarul Hoque held a meeting with Mohammad Sarwar Alam, divisional forest officer of Cox’s Bazar (south) Forest Department. The two other members of the team are journalist Kefayet Shakil, a member of the BNCA convening committee, and Environment People Chief Executive Rashedul Majid.
 BNCA leaders at the meeting expressed concern over the continuous killings of wild elephants in the country, including Cox’s Bazar.
They called upon forest officials to take effective measures in stopping wildlife killings, including elephants.
The meeting discussed in detail various issues, including resolving elephant-human conflicts, causes of elephant killings, the crisis of elephant corridor and habitat, and the food crisis.
Sarwar claimed 6,000 acres of forestland had been occupied by the Rohingyas, causing more damage to wildlife, including elephants, in the region.
Forestland was constantly declining and elephants were losing food due to human habitation in elephant corridors and cutting down trees for cooking, he added.
The meeting also discussed some other issues, including providing illegal power connections in deep forests and manpower crisis in the Forest Department.
The investigation team sought details of elephant killings from Cox’s Bazar Forest Department (north and south).
BNCA was formed on November 24 this year to protest against the failure of the Forest Department to save wildlife, including elephants. 33 environmental organisations came into the fold with the promise of working to protect the environment, forest, and wildlife in the country.
The alliance held a daylong sit-in outside the Forest Department office in Dhaka on November 28.
It later announced to launch a shadow investigation into the recent elephant killings.