Elephant attack
Representative image. Photo - YouTube

The man-elephant conflict in Goalpara district has taken an ugly turn of late and at least four persons including a woman and her daughter lost their lives in the last twenty four hours.

On Monday night, in an incident of elephant attack at Sesajhora near Dhanubhanga under Rongjuli range forest, one Hedwin Sangma lost his life and his friend, Kresh Sangma was seriously injured.

The incident took place when the duo along with other villagers tried to send back a herd of wild elephants from their banana plantation. Two elephants retaliated and thrashed them.

In the same night, a 30-year-old mother, identified as Dipali Banai, was trampled to death by wild elephants at Lalabori village under Goalpara range forest leaving behind her eight-year-old daughter, Rubina Dalu, seriously injured.

On Tuesday, her little daughter also succumbed to her injuries.

On the other hand, on Sunday night, one 46-year-old Chaya Rabha lost her life when her house was attacked by a wild herd. Most of the villagers had emptied the village after the attack. However, she fell prey to the aggressive jumbos which attacked Rabha inside her house.

Commenting on the fresh attacks of jumbos, the Forest officials held the villagers responsible.

“Almost all the incidents are taking place inside the reserve forests. The people have occupied reserve forests and started commercial plantations of banana, rubber, etc. So, confrontation is bound to take place. Where will the animals go?,” said Balen Das, ranger of Rongjuli range forest.

Meanwhile, different organisations have condemned the inaction and failure on the part of the Forest Department to stop the man-elephant conflicts in the district.

“Life of every living being is important. The Forest Department as well as the district administration should immediately come up for the rescue and rehabilitation of the victims of such conflicts,” said Nani Das, noted social worker and district secretary of CPI(M).

In this season, wild elephant herds come down from neighbouring Meghalaya to feast on ripe Sali paddy.

Every night, the pachyderm herds enter areas like Mornoi, Rongjuli, Dhupdhara, Daranggiri, Kuchdhowa, Krishnai, Suryagiri, Agia and Balijana and destroy paddy. Whenever the farmers try to shoo away them, the casualties take place. In the last two decades, about 135 people and several elephants have lost lives in man-elephant conflicts.

Sofikul Ahmed

Sofikul Ahmed is Northeast Now Correspondent in Goalpara. He can be reached at: dull.sofik@gmail.com

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.