Four persons including a child were trampled to death this morning by a rogue elephant that strayed from a herd of 60-70 wild elephants that has been roaming around in West Karbi Anglong areas of late. Another person was trampled to death at Borengajuli in Udalguri district today.
The rogue elephant attacked the victims at around 6 am in a sugarcane field under Kheroni Range of the Forest Department. The deceased were identified as Laxmi Devi (65), Mohit Chauhan (12), Purnima Thapa (35) and Laxmi Devi (47).
The herd of wild elephants has been roaming around Bogorighat, Phelangpi and Priloo for the last few days, according to local villagers.
Human-elephant conflict has reached an alarming proportion in Assam because of rapid shrinkage of elephant habitat because of various reasons including encroachment by human beings. As their natural habitat has been reduced to a great extent, the wild elephants strayed into human settlement in the winter season on search of food and water which becomes scarce in forest area during the dry season.
The wild elephants which are very fond of ripe paddy, create havoc with standing paddy in villages during this season.
As per information provided by Assam Forest Department in the state Assembly during the last Budget Session in February this year, 671 people have died in incidents related to man-elephant conflict in Assam since 2011. Maximum number of casualties had been reported from Sonitpur district on the north bank of Brahmaputra. The highest number of deaths (147) took place in 2015 and Sonitpur recorded maximum deaths (135), followed by Udalguri (104) and Goalpara (50).
The Forest Department tries to help villagers to chase away the straying heard of wild elephants by providing fire crackers as elephants are believed to get scared by the sound of fire crackers. However, the effort does not suffice to prevent villages and paddy fields being raided by wild elephants in the state.
Wild jumbo kills one in Udalguri
The man-elephant conflict refuses to die down in the villages along Indo-Bhutan border in Udalguri district. In yet another incident, one person was trampled to death by a lone wild jumbo at Borengajuli under Dimakuchi Police Station in Udalguri district at about 6 am on Tuesday morning.
The victim was identified as Dasarath Gaur (65). According to locals, the victim took his livestock to grazing field when a stray wild jumbo suddenly charged and trampled him to death.
The angry villagers have blamed the Forest Department for lack of co-ordination with villagers to chase away herds of jumbos which frequent the villages specifically in the post-harvesting season. It is to be mentioned that a total of 21 human beings and four elephants have perished due to the raging man-elephant conflict in the district.