With assembly elections just weeks away in the southern Indian state of Karnataka, the Election Commission of India has enlisted the help of the country’s Forest Department to protect poll-goers from potentially violent disruptions — by elephants.
According to The Hindu, the commission says man-elephant conflicts are “rampant” inKarnataka, and 68 polling booths in Alur, Arkalgud and Sakleshpur taluks in the state’s Hassan district are considered “vulnerable for elephant attacks.” Deputy Commissioner K.P. Mohan Raj told The Hindu that Forest Department experts would escort buses carrying election staff on all 21 routes to the affected areas and a squad would monitor the entire region when elections are underway.
It’s not that the elephants themselves have anything personal against participatory democracy: it’s just that thanks to India’s rapid economic development there are now human populations — and polling stations — where there once was…
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