ANGUL/ROURKELA:Two persons were killed in separate incidents of elephant attack in Angul and Rourkela on Wednesday.
In Chhendipada of Angul, Pitamber Pradhan (55) of Brahmanbil village was trampled to death by an elephant. He had gone to his vegetable farm on the outskirts of the village when the animal attacked him.
Soon after Pradhan’s death, locals resorted to agitation accusing the forest officials of taking no step to drive away an elephant herd from the area despite being informed by them.
The agitators were pacified after the police assured them of ensuring payment of compensation to the family of the deceased.
So far, five persons have been killed by elephants in the Angul Forest Division in the last two months.
Of the five deaths, one was reported from Nuakheta village under Bantala range, one each from Manikjodi and Karatpeta villages, both under Purnakote forest range and two in Chhendipada Forest Range.
According to experts, the elephants are straying from forest to human habitation in search of water as water bodies in the forest have dried up.
In the second case, 56-year-old widow Sagni Pradhan was trampled to death by a tusker while she was sitting on the verandah of her house at Ratakhandi village under Rourkela Forest Division in Sundargarh district.
Kuanrmunda Forest Range Officer BC Ghadei said Sagni was sitting with her grandchild at around 8.30 pm when she saw the tusker and screamed. This drew the attention of the animal which caught hold of her, thrashed her on the ground and trampled on her.
Ghadei said the tusker had come out of Mudra Reserve Forest on Tuesday night and moved towards Ratakhandi. After the incident, the tusker crossed river Sankh and damaged the gate of Kansbahal level-crossing. The tusker is now holed up in Sagjori Reserve Forest of Rajgangpur range.
A part compensation of Rs 15,000 was released to family of the deceased and the rest amount of Rs 2.85 lakh would be provided later.
On May 22 night, a tusker had killed a man at Karambahal near Birda under Kuanrmunda range, while on May 9 night another tusker had killed one and injured three others of a family at Nayadera village under Rourkela Forest Division.