A 65-year-old DMK leader died on Tuesday after he was attacked by a crocodile in the Kollidam river in Tamil Nadu’s Cuddalore district. Gopalakrishnan was the branch secretary of DMK and had gone to bathe in the river near the Chidambaram town. His brothers accompanied him. As the crocodile snooped behind the DMK leader, his two brothers, frightened by the sight, rushed out of the river and tried to bring help from the locals. Gopalakrishnan tried to get out but was dragged by the wild animal into the river.
People on the shore pelted stones at the crocodile, but the reptile managed to take Gopalakrishnan away.
After local police, firefighters and forest officials rushed to Palayanallur village, they found Gopkalakrishnan’s body in a decomposed condition. The forest department has announced Rs 50,000 compensation for the DMK leader’s family.
Villagers said Gopalakrishnan used to bathe in the river regularly after finishing his farm work in the evening. Notably, Gopalakrishnan’s brother Arivanandam had also died in a crocodile attack two years ago when he was out bathing in the river.
The locals said their village is infested with crocodiles, and they have to live in fear all the time. The villagers have requested authorities to build a fence around the river, but nothing concrete has been done yet.
The crocodile menace is not limited to just Palayanallur village and has spread to the entire town of Chidamabaram. In May this year, an eight-foot-long crocodile was rescued from the Sivayam village. The reptile had created havoc in the village after it strayed from the Kollidam river, The Hindu reported. The crocodile was spotted near a pond and the villagers soon informed the authorities. Forest department officials managed to trap the reptile and later released it into the Vakkiramari tank – a habitat for such wild animals – in Chidambaram.