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Jumbo tramples three

Dhubri, Dec. 19: Three persons were trampled to death today by a wild elephant in Goalpara forest division, after it got separated from its herd in Dirang forest reserve.

A forest official said the elephant went on a rampage in the Morwami and Jagratapara areas under Krishnai police station of Goalpara district for the past few days.

Around 9.30am today, it attacked Morwami village and trampled Amin Basumatary, 50, and then moved to Jagratapara and killed two women — Kalpana Nag, 40, and Pushpa Karmakar, 55 —around 10.30am, a forest official in Krishnai said.

Forest officials along with guards rushed to the spot and fired in the air to scare away the elephant.

After sometime, the officials managed to chase it back inside the Dirang reserve forest under Goalpara forest division, the official added.

Goalpara divisional forest officer Muklesh Ali said soon after receiving the news, forest officials were sent to the spot to drive away the elephant.

“The elephant is now inside the Dirang reserve forest and a team of forest guards with ranger will keep watch on its movement throughout the night,” he said.

Forest ranger officer at Krishnai, Rouf Ahmed, who is monitoring the movement of the elephant, said the elephant attacked human habitation after its got separated from its herd.

A forest official in Goalpara said Assam had recorded a growth in elephant population, according to a census done early this year. The census recorded 5,620 elephants in Assam compared to 5,246 elephants in the 2009 census. There are 80 elephants in the Goalpara forest division.

The official said an anti-depredation force had been deployed in the areas prone to elephant attacks.

However, the director of Nature’s Friends, an NGO, Kulodhar Das, alleged that they had not seen the force chase any wild elephant into the forest under anti-depredation in the past many years.

In another incident, a herd of 16 to 20 elephants, which has been on a rampage at Mancachar under Dhubri forest division, damaged houses at Futamari village and injured a villager, Umar Ali Kahn, 45, today.