A 72-year-old morning walker in Bankura’s Sonamukhi was killed by an elephant that had deserted its herd after a group of unruly villagers had allegedly hurled crackers and crude bombs while foresters were trying to drive animals away from a crowded area.
Lalmohan Kundu, 72, a farmer of Kuchdih of Bankura’s Sonamukhi, died after the angry animal pinned its tusk into one of the victim’s legs.
“The person was elderly and he died of profuse bleeding,” a forester said.
Sources said foresters in the Sonamukhi range under Bankura north forest division were busy driving away a herd of 28 elephants towards the elephant corridor in West Midnapore that finally leads to forests in Jharkhand.
At the same time, a group of people near Patrayasay hurled bombs at the herd, leading the animals to go back towards Sonamukhi. “One of the elephants got detached from the herd because of the chaos created by the villagers,” a forest official said.
The elderly farmer accidentally came in close proximity of the animal and was injured severely by its tusk,” said a forester. Senior forest officers said they would conduct a campaign among villagers to resolve issues of human-elephant conflict that includes disturbing elephants in multiple Jungle Mahal districts.
“We are trying out best to manage the human-animal conflict in our jurisdiction. We don’t want any loss of life for both animals and humans. Today’s incident was harrowing. Our teams are trying to relocate the herd of elephants to the forests,” said Umar Imam, the divisional forest officer of Bankura north division.
The death in elephant attacks has become an issue in Jungle Mahal districts like Jhargram, Bankura, Purulia and West Midnapore in the past few years.
At least 10 persons were killed by elephants in Jhargram in the past month. Chief minister Mamata Banerjee last week said her government would provide a job to the next of kin of elephant attackvictims in the police irrespective of standard physical measurement.