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Old man trampled in tusker strikeback

Midnapore, July 6: It was a bloody revenge.

The leader of an elephant herd today broke even with human beings who had tortured two calves in Jhargram in the past week.

The animal entered Dubrajpur village and trampled Nimai Murmu, 65, in front of his house. Probably not too happy at the easy kill, it pierced his abdomen with the tusks and walked back towards Kalboni forest.

Forest department officials pointed out the revenge motive. “A one-and-a-half-year-old male calf had strayed away from his herd into Gopiballavpur. The villagers chased him throughout the day and singed him with flaming torches. Officials from the nearby police station saved the animal from the mob. He was finally driven towards the Kalboni forest,” said an official.

A two-year-old separated from its mother and herd ventured out of Lalgarh forest on June 29, crossed the Kansabati river and strode into Jhargram town. The calf was chased by a mob armed with sticks and iron rods for over five hours.

The herd of eight elephants had entered the town in search of the calf.

Officer-in-charge of Jhargram police station Dipak Sarkar said around 3 this morning, the tusker appeared at exactly the same spot where a calf was pushed back into the forest on Wednesday, about 3 km from the town.

Sarala Hansda, who witnessed the incident, said: “I woke up on hearing a noise. I thought it was a thief and raised hue and cry.” On hearing Sarala’s screams, Nimai ran out with a stick. “I followed him. As I came out on my courtyard, the giant caught hold of him,” said Sarala.

Forest officials said they did not know whether the calves had rejoined their herd.

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