Chhattisgarh villagers migrate as jumbos run amok

October 18th, 2008 - 3:03 pm ICT by IANS  

Raipur, Oct 18 (IANS) About 200 residents of a Chhattisharh village migrated to safer areas Saturday after a herd of wild elephants entered their village and killed an elderly woman, an official said.Forest department sources said about 200 residents of Paldha village under Surajpur block in the state’s extreme northern Surguja district, some 400 km from here, have left their village after 11 wild elephants ran amok Friday night.

“A few villagers used bonfires to keep the elephants away from their homes but the elephants actually got irritated and chased away several villagers. Rukmani Urao, 68, was trampled to death,” officials at forest headquarters said.

Chhattisgarh’s vast northern region comprising of Surguja, Koria, Jashpur, Korba and Raigarh districts have witnessed dozens of killings by wild elephants in the past three years besides massive loss to standing paddy crops.

The state government has paid compensation to the families of the victims and to those whose crops were damaged in elephant attacks.

The state government has said that it is planning to develop a safe corridor for wild elephants in forests to reduce cases of man-elephant conflicts.

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