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Elephant herd kills farmer

Hazaribagh, Oct. 28: A herd of 15 elephants fatally trampled a farmer yesterday night in Khaira village of Tatijharia block, around 25km from district headquarters.

The herd dragged Saryu Prasad (45) around 10.30pm, reacting to villagers chasing them with torches and drums. His mangled body was found at 1.30am by a search party.

The herd crossed Dumka, Jamtara, Dhanbad and Giridih to reach Hazaribagh. Between Giridih’s Bagodar and Hazaribagh’s Barkatha is a known elephant corridor. Villagers alleged that elephants on October 25, 26 and 27, damaged homes and crops especially in Barkatha and Khaira.

Divisional forest officer (west) T. Thanga Pandiyan promised compensation to the deceased’s next-of-kin.

DC Manish Ranjan, who visited Barkatha yesterday, gave Rs 500 each to those whose homes and crops were damaged and directed block officials to give 10 litres of kerosene and 20kg of grain to each.

Range officer Gopal Kumar Gupta said villagers should also cooperate. “We told people not to distil mahua liquor as its smell attracts elephants. They didn’t listen,” he said.