Wild elephants kill four villagers in six days in Bengal’s Jhargram
Irked by so many deaths, local people staged a demonstration on Thursday, alleging that the forest department was doing nothing to drive the herds away.kolkata Updated: Apr 12, 2018 17:46 IST
Wild elephants on Thursday killed two villagers in the Jhargram area of Bengal’s West Midnapore district bordering Jharkhand, a region the herds use as corridor to move between the two states.
Four more villagers have been killed in West Midnapore since last Saturday.
While Purnima Mahato, 50, died in the Barobhanga area, Chittaranjan Mahato, 45, was killed near Dherigeria village. Both were trampled by tuskers on Thursday when they ventured near forests.
Purnima Mahato had gone to collect mahua flowers that are used to produce a heady brew popular among tribal people. Incidentally, the strong fragrance of these flowers as well as the brew also draw elephants and wild bears.
Chittaranjan Mahato, a tribal and resident of Sukhnakhali, was going to Balivasa on his bicycle when he was attacked. The tuskers trampled him and smashed the cycle as well.
Irked by so many deaths, local people staged a demonstration on Thursday, alleging that the forest department was doing nothing to drive the herds away.
“There are some wild elephants that permanently live in these jungles. We suspect that the two villagers killed on Thursday were attacked by one of the local herds. The government will give compensation to these families,” Basabraj Helaichhi, divisional forest officer of Jhargram, said.
Last Saturday, Lalit Mahato, 55, was killed in elephant attack at Nuninakundri near Jhargram town.
On Tuesday this week, Bholanath Singh, 35, was trampled to death at Ratanpur in the Narayangarh area. Two other villagers were also injured in the same attack.
Incidentally, all these villagers have died in elephant attacks at a time when people are actually living in the fear of a Royal Bengal tiger that is playing hide and seek with forest guards for more than a month.
The big cat was photographed in the forests of Lalgarh in the first week of March. However, repeated efforts to track and trap it have failed so far. Three people in the Bagghora area were injured by the tiger.