Two wild elephants stormed into Mysore on early Wednesday, trampling one person to death and causing panic in this cultural city.
"The wild elephants entered the city around 6am from a nearby forest, wreaked havoc in a suburb trampling one person to death and caused panic in the area," state higher education minster SA Ramdas told reporters in Mysore, about 140 km from Bangalore.
After three hours of high voltage drama and mayhem, the twin jumbos were tranquilised by forest guards and chained to trees.
The victim has been identified as Renuka Prasad, a 55-year-old resident of Bamboo Bazar in the old city.
"Prasad was trampled to death by one of the young tuskers near his house when he came out on hearing the commotion in the area. Though he was rushed to a nearby government hospital, he was declared brought dead," Ramdas lamented.
Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa announced Rs 500,000 as compensation to Prasad's kin.
"As a precautionary measure, we have declared holiday for schools and colleges in the city for the day (Wednesday) and deployed additional policemen in the suburbs to prevent any untoward incident," Ramdas said.
While one elephant entered a women's college by crossing over the compound wall and menacingly roamed in the ground, the other jumbo entered into the residential area and the nearby market, attacking Prasad and a cow.
"The forest guards and officials from the Mysore zoo were alerted and they rushed to the spot to control the jumbos by tranquilising them. They will be sent to the nearby forest by the evening," Ramdas pointed out.
According to the state forest department officials, the twin young jumbos came from T Narsipur forest range, about 35 km from Mysore along with two others, who, however, remained on the outskirts of the city.
"The growing man-animal conflict due to encroachment of forests, decline in forest area due to unregulated expansion of farm lands and increasing movement of people and transport vehicles through the elephant corridor are making the wild jumbos enter villages and towns in search of food and shelter," a forest official said.