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Nature lover distributes flashlights among villagers, forest guards

A Correspondent
TANGLA, June 13: The menace of wild jumbos continues unabated at Indo-Bhutan border villages near Khalingduar Reserve Forest under Nonai Forest Division in Udalguri. In Uttar Gatuajhar village, nearly 30 families lost their houses and crops in the past few weeks. A herd of 80-100 wild jumbos has been creating terror in the area, following which mass exodus is taking place. The fear-stricken residents, finding no alternative, have shifted to neighbouring villages along with their belongings. In such a situation, an initiative by wildlife activists like Nabajyoti Baruah has been lauded by villagers and forest officials of Khalingduar Reserve Forest.

Baruah, a known nature lover who has relentlessly volunteered to mitigate the man-elephant conflict in the district for the past decade, distributed 50 high-powered flashlights to keep a vigil on wild elephants to villagers of Uttar Garuajhar and forest guards of Khalingduar Reserve Forest on Wednesday. Ranger of Nonai Forest Division, Satya Boro praised the efforts of Baruah for consistently endeavouring to tackle the man-elephant conflict in the region. Talking to The Sentinel, forest guards Rajen Daimari, Lalit Boro, Bibungsha Baglari and Bhaben Das expressed their gratitude to the nature lover for aiding them with the necessary gear. “We currently have only two functioning flashlights which we carry during patrolling duty at night in the areas most affected by man-animal conflict,” said Bhaben Das.

Local youths Mithu Sarkar, Dibakar Nayak and Ankit Tanti who have been voluntarily associating themselves with tackling the menace of man-elephant conflict, also attended the flashlight distribution programme at Uttar Garuajhar where villagers received the flashlights.

Nabajyoti Baruah has been relentlessly working towards mitigating the man-elephant conflict by planting 2,000 banana saplings in the area this year, besides constructing a number of watch-towers in the conflict zone villages. Baruah exhorted the forest department to chalk out long-term plans to mitigate the issue and relieve the woes of the border populace.