Wild elephant attack
A house demolished by wild elephant on Saturday morning at Krishnai. Image credit – Northeast Now

A male elephant went on a rampage on Friday night in Goalpara district and trampled a local man to death at Khardung Charakpara village under the Krishnai forest range.

The victim has been identified as Mohen Rabha.

Rabha was trampled to death when he tried to shoo away the wild jumbo along with some other villagers. But the animal retaliated and trampled Rabha to death.

“The elephant was demolishing the residence of Mohen Rabha’s brother and we were trying to terrify it by making loud noise and igniting the fire. However, it chased back us and trampled Mohen Rabha to death,” said a local who was a witness to the incident.

According to forest department sources, the jumbo had earlier on the same night damaged several houses at Charigaon village.

In another incident, a lone pachyderm entered the Dhekiabari Nayapara village early on Saturday morning in search of food.

The animal demolished three houses of Mamud Rabha of the village and devoured the harvested paddy.

The destruction was so pathetic that Rabha’s family became shelterless overnight.

There has been largescale destruction of prime elephant habitat in the district causing decreasing of their natural habitat and food.

In addition, the elephant corridors have been occupied by human settlers resulting in the increase of the man-elephant conflict.

According to forest department sources, 20 pc reserve forests in the district have been encroached either in the name of paddy cultivation, banana plants or rubber plantation.

As a result, more than 18 people and three elephants have reportedly died in the district in 2019.

The worst incident of this year’s elephant attack took place on October 29 in and around the greater Matia area under Rangjuli range forest in which five people died in a single day.

The male elephant nicknamed ‘Laden’ and later christened as ‘Krishna’, which caused havoc, was later tranquilized by the forest department after much hullabaloo and trans-located to Orang National Park.

But it died there following a massive heart attack.

As the harvesting season is closing in the state, the man-elephant conflict is worsening in entire Assam.

From lower Assam’s Goalpara and Baksha district to upper Assam’s Tinsukia, Dibrugarh and Golaghat district, man-elephant conflict is common.

In another development, the carcass of a three-year-old baby elephant was recovered from the Kalyanpur range forest in West Tripura district of Tripura.

The Assam government tabled a report in the February 2019 session of the State Assembly stating that 761 people and 249 jumbos have lost lives since 2010 in the state.

Sofikul Ahmed

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