From a Correspondent
Bokajan, Feb 3: A person was trampled to death by a wild elephant at Silonijan under Barpathar Police Station in East Karbi Anglong in the wee hours of Friday.
Chandan Paik (30), a resident of Louis Tirki village was trampled to death while he was sitting near the fire place along with three others who maged to escape unhurt. The elephant also wreaked havoc in the nearby villages destroying dwelling houses and plantations.
“The 20-year old elephant, reportedly separated from its herd, was administered medication by a team of WTI veteririans as it was limping after being injured by a spear which was probably used to ward off the animal in a conflict with a man a couple of months back,” said a forest official.
The man-elephant conflict has assumed an alarming proportion in the hill district due to the rampant destruction of forest cover triggered by illegal encroachment. A school-going girl was trampled to death in broad daylight at Longkathar village under Khatkhati Police Station on January 4. Ubated deforestation and encroachment of forest land have compelled the wild elephants to enter human settlements in search of food.
Forest officials cite a severe shortage of manpower and logistics to deal with the rising cases of man-elephant conflict. “There are only five officials currently engaged to administer jurisdiction over a forest cover spread across an area of 43 sq. km falling within Silonijan and Garampani Reserve Forest,” said Ranger Bibison Tokbi, North Eastern Forest Range, Silonijan, Karbi Anglong.
He added that the villagers had been provided with torch lights and crackers to keep the wild elephants at bay. “Local youths are also trained to drive out elephants but people usually get panic-stricken whenever elephants enter their village which causes such casualties,” he said.