Villagers spend sleepless nights as jumbos run amok

September 30th, 2008 - 4:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Raipur, Sep 30 (IANS) About 850 residents of a Chhattisgarh village have not slept for the past one week as a group of 14 wild tuskers, having a record of killing people, have settled in the village and destroyed standing paddy crops.”About 850 persons of Raigarh district’s Bhaisgarhi village have been spending sleepless nights since last Tuesday Sep 23 as a group of 14 wild elephants are roaming in the area,” officials at the forest department here told IANS.

They said the tuskers have sneaked into the village, some 300 km north of Raipur, from Korba district forests via the Dharmjaigarh forested belt.

“Since wild elephants have a track record of killing people during night in Raigarh, Korba, Jashpur, Korea and Surguja districts in the past five years, the poor residents of the forested Bhaisgarhi village have been literally kept under house arrest,” the officials added.

Local forest officials have been instructed to take urgent steps to chase away the jumbos as they have already destroyed standing paddy crops over a huge area.

Officials say dozens of persons have been killed in the state’s northern region by wild elephants in recent years.

The state government claims it is working on a plan to set up an elephant project in the northern region by developing a safe corridor for wild elephants in forests to reduce cases of man-elephant conflict.

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