Odisha crime branch today arrested three persons, including two forest officials, in connection with the electrocution of seven wild elephants in Dhenkanal district on 27 October.

Contractual diploma electrical engineer Sanjay Mohanty, forester Pravakar Rana and forest guard GC Dehury were arrested for not following departmental guidelines and instructions of superiors. They failed to act and rectify the sagging electric line, said the crime branch.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had ordered a crime branch probe in to the tragic death of seven elephants. The electricity department had also suspended a few officers while the forest department had also taken action of three forest officials of the region.

The crime branch investigations confirmed the fact that an 11KV high tension electric line was sagging and an electric pole had tilted leaving a ground clearance of 5.6 feet at the spot where the elephants were killed.

A forensic team had also examined the spot and collected evidence.

Since 23 October, a herd of 25 elephants were moving in the area and yet no action had been taken by concerned officers to rectify the sagging line or drive the herd away.

The crime branch has registered a case under section 166, 429, 34 IPC read with section 146 Electricity Act and section 51 Wildlife (Protection) Act.