PALASBARI: A herd of wild elephants has been destroying Sali paddy crop in the Rangamati area near Mirza town for the last one week and the local people are panic-stricken at the possibility of being trampled to death by members of the herd. Sources said that the herd of nine to ten wild elephants had been taking refuge in the Dhudhkuwori hill near Rangamati village for the past several years and the herd has been regularly coming down to the nearby paddy fields, destroying vast plots of paddy crop in the Rangamati area.
“The herd has been destroying the paddy crop almost every day and farmers have been suffering sleepless nights,” said a local farmer. It is also reported that the herd has been venturing even into houses and areas of human habitation in areas such as Mahilapara, Bakrapara, Malipara, etc., under Baranti-Rangamati Gaon Panchayat of Palasbari LAC in Kamrup district. The herd has been consuming and destroying plantations of sugarcane, banana, etc.
The herd has even been breaking the boundary walls of several families, including those of Dimbeswar Sarma, Somen Mali, Jayanta Sarma and Kailash Mali, in search of food. Villagers told this correspondent that the elephant herd is now being seen in paddy fields even in broad daylight and that people are risking their lives while going to harvest paddy in their fields. The villagers added that they have contacted the forest department personnel of Mirza and Lohaghat Forest Range offices, but till date no concrete action has been taken by the forest personnel to drive out the herd. The local people are afraid that the human-elephant conflict may exacerbate in the days to come. Hence, they have demanded that the State government should take appropriate action to resolve the problem.