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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 28 February 2024

Siliguri: 30-year-old villager killed in elephant attack

The incident triggered panic in Mangalsinghjote village, as this is the third such incident of death caused by a wild elephant in the past one month in the area

Our Correspondent Siliguri Published 01.11.21, 12:10 AM
The elephants left but the villagers had no inkling that a tusker among the herd had stayed back.

The elephants left but the villagers had no inkling that a tusker among the herd had stayed back. File photo

A 30-year-old resident of a village under Naxalbari block under Siliguri subdivision, some 30km from here, was trampled to death by a wild elephant on Sunday.

The incident triggered panic in Mangalsinghjote village, as this is the third such incident of death caused by a wild elephant in the past one month in the area.

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According to him, when an elephant herd entered the village early on Sunday from neighbouring Tukuria forest, a group of villagers rushed to steer the animals back into the forest.

The elephants left but the villagers had no inkling that a tusker among the herd had stayed back. While they were returning home, the tusker attacked them. It grabbed Nakul Singha, present among the group of villagers, with its trunk and trampled him to death.

Jyasthomohan Roy, the former chief of Hatighisa panchayat under which the village is located, said wild elephants were giving them sleepless nights.

“It has become a regular phenomenon now. Elephants are entering a number of villages in search of fodder. Three people have lost their lives in the past one month while trying to save their crops,” said Roy.

The state forest department should intensify its vigil and deploy more teams to prevent wild elephants from entering villages, said villagers. “If the department cannot deploy people, they should provide us searchlights and crackers (to ward off elephants),” one said.

Officials of Kurseong forest division and Darjeeling wildlife division, when contacted, said they are patrolling in a consistent manner in areas of Siliguri subdivision where elephants often intrude.

“In this case, the villager was unfortunately attacked by a lone elephant that strayed from a herd wandering in Naxalbari. The victim’s family will be compensated according to rule. We are aware that harvesting season is ahead and a dedicated squad has been engaged to prevent elephant depredation,” said a forest officer.

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