Two persons were trampled to death by elephants in Gudalur and
Pandalur taluks in the Nilgiris on Friday, leading to public protests
and downing of shutters by traders.
Two days ago, an estate worker, Radhakrishnan, was trampled to death
by an elephant. On Thursday night, a body was found in Mango Range
area and the victim was identified as Manisekar (46), a plantation
worker. Manisekar was returning from work when he was trampled to
death by a tusker on the Cherambadi–Pandalur Road, while Easwaran, who
was accompanying him, escaped with injuries.
A protest by residents and traders resulted in a road blockade on the
Pandalur–Batheri road and police reinforcements were sent and pickets
posted to contain the situation.
The District Revenue Officer held talks with the residents who
demanded a compensation of Rs. 10 lakh, against Rs. 3 lakh, a
government job for the legal heir of the victim and immediate measures
to contain the escalating conflict situation. Following assurances to
the protesters thatthe government’s attention to the issue would be
drawn, relatives and residents agreed and removed the body to the
Gudalur GH for post-mortem.
On Friday morning, Karnan (45) was also found dead in the Mango Range
Estate area. It is believed that it is the same elephant that killed
Karnan. Post-mortem was conducted on the bodies and later handed over
to the relatives.
Traders announced that shops will remain closed in Gudalur and
Pandalur taluks on Saturday too. To assuage the agitated public, the
Forest Department pressed kumki elephants and trained elephant
trackers into service.
In the last five years, as many as 40 lives were lost because of the
escalating human-animal conflict. Last month, an estate worker was
mauled to death by a tiger.