Four killed by wild elephants in north Bengal
One person was killed in Darjeeling district, three others were killed in the Maynaguri area of Jalpaiguri district, triggering an agitation by villagers who locked the office of a range of wildlife squad.
Four people, including a couple, were killed by elephants in three different incidents in north Bengal on Monday, officials said on Tuesday.
While one person was killed in Darjeeling district, three others were killed in the Maynaguri area of Jalpaiguri district, triggering an agitation by villagers who locked the office of a wildlife squad.
Normalcy was restored only after Rapid Action Force (RAF) and Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) personnel were deployed and foresters assured compensation to the bereaved families.
The villagers were protesting against the alleged indifference of the forest department and wildlife squad to deal with marauding elephants. The agitators also blocked Ramsai-Maynaguri road.
In the incident in Darjeeling district, a biker was trampled to death on Bagdogra-Panighata Road near Siliguri on Monday night.
In another incident that night, Gaona Oraon (30) and his wife Kumari Oraon (28), residents of Depot Line and workers of Jadavpur Tea Estate, were trampled to death by an elephant when they were returning home after watching a musical programme at Ramshai under Mainaguri police station in Jalpaiguri district.
Gobinda Roy (22), a mason and a resident of Kalimati village also under Ramsahi gram panchayat, was also killed when he was returning home.
“Adequate compensation would be paid to the bereaved families,” said Badal Debnath, an additional divisional forest officer.
The agitators allow the forest officials and police to take away the three bodies only after they got the assurance of compensation for the next of kin.
According to state officials, Rs 2 lakh would be paid to the next of kin of those who were killed by the elephant.
Forest officials suspect that the animal that killed the Oraons also trampled Roy. It had strayed out of Gorumara National Park.
Ravi Munda, a local resident said, “Despite the presence of wildlife squads, elephants continue to wreak havoc in the area and damage properties. The three people died due to the negligence of the forest department.”
The situation was brought under control on Tuesday afternoon, said Tamal Das, inspector-in-charge of Maynaguri police station said.
“Only on October 26, Chaure Majhi (34), a temporary handler was flung to the ground by an elephant of the state forest department in Jaldapara national forest’s Hashimara range. He died in a hospital on Monday,” said Animesh Bose, program coordinator Himalayan Nature and Adventure Foundation.
The female elephant Mitali has been kept in seclusion.