When the operation backfired
Our Wariyapola correspondent Pushpakumara Jayaratna recounts the incident that invited death to the inspector: Wariyapola OIC Nimal Rowell became another victim of another angry elephant who took its revenge on humans who dared to invade the wilds, their natural habitat.

He was concerned about the danger posed by wild elephants to the villagers of Bandarawatta, Welegedarawatta and Hunugama. When he received information that an elephant was scaring the daylights out of people in the village, he rushed to the place with some police officers.

The news of the elephant had spread fast and by the time the inspector had arrived at the scene, several people and media personnel had already gathered there.

The inspector ordered his men to light fire crackers to scare the elephant away, though the police officers were armed.
But the elephant stood its ground and turned aggressive.

It started charging towards the crowd. The inspector was unlucky. He fell twice while running away. The angry animal took the fallen victim by his trunk and trampled him.

The inspector seemed to have survived the ordeal and he was alright while he was being taken to the Kurunegala hospital. His colleague SSP Gopallawa consoled him in the vehicle telling him everything would be alright.

But it was not to be. The 53-year-old inspector, who served the police department for 30 years, succumbed to his injuries a while later.
He was 53 and had served for 30 years in the police force.

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