Bokajan, May 19: A pregnant woman and her 4-year old daughter were trampled to death by a herd of wild elephants in the Sunday bazaar area adjacent to the Assam-Nagaland border in East Karbi Anglong on Saturday.
The herd, which was on a rampage, destroyed a dozen houses and croplands, besides killing Puja Kumari and her nine-month pregnant mother Minni Devi on the spot. KAAC EM Madhujya Dhekial Phukan visited the affected family and assured of all possible help and early disbursement of government compensation to next kin of the victim.
The tea-estates in the Lahorijan area alongside NH-39 are considered as an elephant habitat as a herd of 10-15 elephants, including infants are a common sight in the region. However, rampant clearing of forest cover and expansion of human settlement have compelled the wild elephants to charge human settlement in search of food.
The man-elephant conflict has assumed an alarming proportion in the hill district of Karbi Anglong. A small school going girl was trampled to death in board daylight at Longkathar village under Khatkhati Police Station on January 4, 2017. Chandan Paik (30), a resident of Louis Tirki village under Silonijan Range was killed in an elephant attack on February 3, 2017.
Elephant deaths due to unnatural causes have also seen a significant rise in the past couple of years. Hundreds of elephants are killed each year with the primary reason being either mowing down by moving train, electrocutions, poisoning or due to gunshot. A bullet-ridden carcass of a wild elephant stuck in a wetland was recovered from the Lahorijan tea-estate area back in 2014. Forest officials assumed that the elephant had been a victim of conflict with human and was probably shot in retaliation. Earlier on February 26, two wild elephants which came in contact with dangling wires, were electrocuted to death in Dhansiri Tea-Estate under Silonijan forest range.