PERMAISURI: Opting for futsal training instead of accompanying his father to drive away wild elephants probably saved a young man’s life.
Muhammad Imran Khasimi Kamarul Zaman, 22, said his father, Kamarul Zaman Mat Ali, 58, had asked him to accompany him at 9.08pm yesterday, as he was preparing to go after elephants which were located about 20km from their house.
“But, I declined as I had futsal training. That was the last time I spoke to my father,” he said.
Kamarul was in a Toyota Hilux 4v4 with four officers from the Terengganu Wildlife Department and National Parks Department in Besut when a shotgun belonging to one of the rangers went off accidentally and hit him in the chest, killing him.
“My father had been taking part in wild elephant operations with the officers for 30 years,” said Imran at Setiu Hospital.
“My father was bent on taking part in the operation as the elephants had damaged crops on at least 10 occasions this year, even though an electric fence was erected.”
Imran’s eldest brother Shaiful Lizam Kamarul Zaman, 36, said their father was supposed to attend a feast in the village last night.
“At 12.30am, my younger brother told my mother, Ummi Kalthum Yaacob, and I that my father was killed,” he said.
Setiu police chief Deputy Superintendent Zulkifli Mat Deris said: “He was shot as they were pursuing an elephant which they had shot with a tranquilliser dart.
“A Beretta auto-load rifle belonging to one of the officers went off when their vehicle jerked forward.
“The bullet hit Kamarul Zaman, who was in the rear seat, in his chest.”
Kamarul died on the way to Setiu Hospital at 11.55pm.
The officers, aged between 30 and 40, have been detained to facilitate investigations under Section 304A of the Penal Code for causing death due to negligence.