The man-elephant conflict in Goalpara district has worsened with six deaths and 10 injuries, within the first five months of the year 2018. On Thursday, a middle aged man from Solmari Kalyanpur under Agia police station lost his life in such an attack.
Sushil Rabha, who went to chop bamboos at the back of his house, suddenly faced a jumbo devouring jackfruit from his neighbour’s tree. Though he tried to escape amidst the cover of bamboo bushes, the tusker gave chase and held him with its trunk and thrashed him on the ground. Sushil Rabha died on the spot.
The locals gathered and tried to chase away the elephant. They also informed the district forest office. However, no forest personnel allegedly came to the rescue even after several hours of the incident. Later, the Agia police arrived and sent for postmortem.
The local people of Kalyanpur village complained that the same elephant has caused large scale damages in entire area under the Agia police station.
“This particular animal moves separately from its herd and its movement is very quick but silent because of which our people are scared of this jumbo,” remarked a resident.
According to the forest department sources, a herd comprising of twenty two elephants has a camp in the neighbouring Pancharatna Hill and it occasionally visits its adjacent areas like Makri, Solmari, Kalyanpur, Budhipara etc.
Meanwhile, reacting to the Thursday’s incident, Acharya Goswami, Divisional Forest Officer remarked that most of the elephants moving around the Goalpara district causing damages have come down from the Garo Hills of Meghalaya but they have failed to return the herd to their original habitat as people in bordering areas have blocked the ‘elephant corridors’.
‘Men have not only have encroached in forest areas but also blocked the elephant corridors leading to these conflicts’, claimed Goswami.
On the other hand, sources alleged that it is due to the rampant illegal felling of trees that has made the jumbos aggressive.