12 injured as farmers clash with cops during drive to scare jumbos (India)


PTI Rourkela, The Statesman

Date Published

At least 12 people, including a police man and a forest staff, were injured in a clash between villagers and police as the locals were opposing a drive to chase away elephants from the city area, fearing they may enter their nearby fields and damage crops.

The forest department which started its drive to chase away the eight-member herd met with stiff opposition from the residents of Dumerta and Bandamunda area, who said it would damage their crops, a police officer said.

Facing resistance, forest department sought police help, but it did not deter the locals who pelted stones, damaging some vehicles of forest department, the officer said adding mild force was used to counter the mob action.

An Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) of police of Bondamunda police station, B N Bala and a forest staff of the elephant drive squad G Sahu, suffered minor injuries, the officer said.

Besides, ten locals also got injured during police action, he added.

Forest Officer PK Dhala said as the crowd was in no mood to let the herd to take its designated path or corridor, the jumbos got stuck near Bondamunda, he said.

However, with police help “we managed to take them to the North Chirubeda jungle, which is very close to their corridor and later we would try to drive them away into the forests,” Dhala said.