Elephants trample three women to death in Chhattisgarh (India)


Rashmi Drolia,Times of India

Date Published
RAIPUR: Terror prevailed at Korba forest region when three women were trampled to death at two separate spots by a herd of elephant on Sunday. It is apparently tenth death reported due to tusker attack in span of four months in northern Chhattisgarh, officials said. 
The incident took place at Kartala forest region when a woman who had gone to Charmar’s Baridand’s forest to collect Mahua fruit and was chased for about half a kilometer by herd of 10-12 elephants. one of the elephants then caught her in the trunk and throwing her on the ground, she was trampled to death. 
Few kilometers ahead, the herd chased other two women at Chorbhatti forest in the same style, while the women were collecting forest produce and were crushed by elephants, JR Nayak, Korba divisional forest officer said. 
Police team and forest officials rushed to spot to find the three women dead, however, families of deceased were provided instant relief compensation of Rs 10,000. 
According to Nayak, herd of elephants had entered early on Sunday from Dharamjaigarh forest region to Korba division and have been frequenting in Katghora region as well for quite sometime.
Deceased were identified as Maankunwar (35), Dilkunwar rathiya (70) and Kamla Bai (48). Korba collector Reena Babasaheb Kangle has issued alert in the region and has asked villagers not to venture into forests for next few days. She has asked locals to be alert and immediately inform forest officials on spotting elephants in region. 
Officials who had been tracing this her said that tuskers were spotted at a private farmhouse at Bundeli village on March 24 where they had damaged crops on ten acres of land and camped there for six hours. The herd had damaged water pumps, pipelines, tanks in the farmhouse. 
After two days they had reached Kudmura forest range in Korba and caved down four to six houses, leaving families homeless and now, after killing three women, they have marched towards Champa region. 
Officials said that elephants and bear are fond of Mahua fruit which is available in abundance in forest. While villagers also collect mahua from forest to make country liquor, elephants often attack them in forests or damage their homes in search of mahua which is kept preserved. Even sloth bear usually attack on humans when they are out in forests to collect mahua specially in Marwahi region. 
While dense forests of north Chhattisgarh including Surguja, Korba, Raigarh, Jashpur and Koriya districts have been most common zones for elephants, human elephant conflicts has escalated in past few months with several deaths. 
A youth was trampled to death at Sevra village in Pendra, Marwahi forest region on March 27, two men were crushed to death by elephants in Surajpur and Koriya districts on February 6 after they had damaged about 70-80 houses in the region. 
According to a report, state recorded 8,657 incidents of property damages and 99,152 incidents of crop damage between 2004 and 2014. Total compensation paid towards human-elephant conflict has amounted to Rs. 2,140.20 lakh during this period.