A herd of wild tuskers which has strayed into the district three days back has created panic among several villages.
The tuskers killed one Subham Kumar (15), a resident of Mahuwawa village under Madanpur police station, early on Monday morning, while two days back Nigar Alam, a villager of Ajania under Deo block was also trampled to death by the same herd. Eyewitnesses said Subham was going to the field with some villagers when wild elephants attacked him.
On getting information, a police team from Madanpur police station and officials of forest department rushed to spot. SDPO (Sadar) PN Sahu confirmed the incident and said, “Efforts are on to chase away the herd.”
Local residents said elephants numbering over a dozen are still present in Madanpur and Deo areas, posing a threat to the villagers. Sensing gravity of the situation, the villagers preferred to remainindoors.
Divisional forest officer (DFO) Sudhir Kumar Karan said a massive drive has been launched to chase away the tuskers from the district.
He said a special team has also been called from Bakura, West Bengal, to ensure their exit. The tuskers have already destroyed standing crops and demolished houses in the district.
Karan said, “Altogether, 14 elephants have been chased away. Another team of experts has been called from Assam which will train the villagers of Madanpur and Deo blocks to chase away the elephants and also to protect themselves from wild animals in case of any emergency.”
According to the DFO, there is a provision to provide a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the kin of deceased. He said lesser amount is given to those with minor injuries. Similarly in case of damage to standing crops, compensation is fixed as per damage report submitted by the block revenue officer, added the DFO.
According to a forest department official, this is probably the first time when a herd of elephants have entered the district and terrorized the villagers.
He said the tuskers might have sneaked into the villages from neighbouring Jharkhand.
A native of Deo village Jitendra Paswan said, “Humlog nilgai to dekhe hein jo humari fasal ko barbad karta raha hai, lekin pahli bar hathio ne is ilake me dehshat faila diya hai. Till date blue bulls ( nil gais) have been destroying our crops. This is the first time when elephants have entered our villages and created panic.”
The district administration, local police and forest department are making every move to prevent any untoward incident. DM Kawal Tanuj and SP Babu Ram have also assured the villagers to provide protection.