Cases of elephant menace on rise in villages, people live in fear (India)


The Avenue Mail

Date Published

Jamshedpur: Rampaging herds of tuskers in the villages of West Singhbhum and Seraikela Kharsawan district are forcing innocent tribal to spend sleepless nights.

In an area that boasts of a forest cover of 30 percent, the human-animal conflict is major concern of the people. In past one month cases of elephant’s regularly damaging standing crops and attacking villagers have shot up.
Under Jhinkpani block areas like Choya, Beteya and Kudapi are worst affected. Just recently herds of elephants entered village under  Manjahri police station and destroyed crops.

In many villages, people are forced to spend their nights on trees in fear. Some even light fires and drumming up traditional instruments to keep tuskers at bay.

People are in state of havoc due to such menace. Sometimes villagers migrate to safer places for a week or more to avoid the sudden night-time attacks of the wild elephant herds.

“We are forced to spend sleepless nights. Our lives are at risk due to rampaging elephants. Elephants regularly venture into villages, destroy houses, damage standing crops and even trample people to death. We are forced to work like a ‘night guard’ to save our lives and crops” said Ramesh Munda of Jhinkpani.

He said that rampaging elephants are a cause of concern. Some measures have been adopted and there is need to do more to protect the people.

He added that when the villagers force them to migrate to Manjhari area they enter Choya area under Jhinkpani. There are two groups of tuckers active in the area and one of which also consists of baby elephants.

Meanwhile the officials of the forest department said the department is installing solar electric to safeguard villagers. When the animals would come into contact with the fence, they would experience mild electric shock, which would force them to leave the place immediately. The fencing will not lead to death of animals.

The farmers have been asked to inform the nearest range office in case of crop raiding so that special teams will be deputed to drive the elephants into the deep jungle.