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Elephants stall traffic

Garbeta (West Midnapore), Oct. 21: Traffic on Ranigunj-Midnapore State Highway came to a halt this morning as a herd of wild elephants encroached the road here.

The herd crossed the road on its way towards the dense forest in adjoining Bankura. Panic-stricken policemen on the highway urged drivers not to blow horns and wait to allow the elephants cross the road.

Officials said 40 wild elephants had entered the forest zone in the district from the Dalma hills in Jharkhand’s Singbhum.

Though 34 of them have already left Midnapore and taken shelter in the forests in Bankura, six are still in the Midnapore forests, they said. “They have become a nightmare for us as they keep destroying paddy fields in the Goaltore, Salboni, Arabari and Garbeta areas,” they added.

Villagers said they have been passing sleepless nights, chasing elephants. “They are unwilling to leave the place.”

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