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Chhattisgarh News
Wild elephants kill man, villagers detain forest staff

Wild elephants kill man, villagers detain forest staff

Bilaspur (Chhattisgarh): A man was killed by a herd of wild elephants in a village in Ambikapur-Wadraf Nagar area on Sunday. When a team of forest employees arrived at the spot they were detained by villagers. The forest employees were let off after more than eight hours and only after the forest ranger went to the spot and pacified the angry villagers.

According to sources, a herd of about 16 wild elephants has been wandering near border villages of Ramanujgunj and Wadraf Nagar, about 350 km from here for several days now. It has destroyed houses and several villages and damaged crop in large area. On Sunday the herd was at villages Mahuli and Belsar. The same day a villager, Gopal Pando (40), a resident of village Mahuli was attacked by the herd on Belsar road. One of the wild elephants caught Gopal in its trunk and thrashed on the ground, killing him on the spot.

A team of forest officials arrived at the spot after receiving the information. The villagers detained five of them. Villagers alleged that whenever some damage is caused by wild elephants, some field staff are sent to affected villages, who are of no help to the victims as the field staff is not capable of assessing the damaged suffered by villagers.

They said herds of wild elephants have been creating havoc in the area for close to a month now, but no serious attempts have been made to solve the problem. In Belsar alone the herd has completely destroyed 40 houses, besides damaging crops. People have to spend whole nights many a times out in the open whenever the herd enters the villages. They added that they would not allow the detained forest employees till such time a forest official visits the village and assures them of taking positive steps in addressing the issue.

Later ranger JP Pandey reached the village in the afternoon and discussed the matter with the villagers. Pandey also called for trained personnel of 'Hulla Party' from nearby village of Jhor to counter the menace of wild elephants. Following Pandey's visit the villagers released the detained forest employees.