Mrunal Manmay Dash

The residents of Jakeikala under Sundargarh’s Bonai police limits blocked Bonai-Jangla road and detained four forest department officials on Wednesday protesting elephant menace in their area.

They alleged that the forest squads have never come to drive away the pachyderms and demanded appropriate compensation for their property and crop loss.

As per reports, two wild tuskers recently wreaked havoc at Rangamatiasahi in the village destroying many houses and crops. The villagers staged a road blockade protesting that. When the ACF, Ranger and Forester came to the village to inspect the elephant menace, they detained the officials.

Sources said elephants have eaten up and destroyed vegetables on acres of land in Jakeikala village. Poor tribal farmers had undertaken vegetable cultivation with DMF funds. Now, they have suffered a huge loss because of these elephants, it is learnt.

The villagers have threatened to continue the road blockade until a permanent solution is made to address the elephant menace.

Villagers of the Bonai area in Sundargarh district have been expressing strong protests against forest officials’ alleged sheer inattentiveness towards the elephant menace they have been facing for a long.

Elephants have been moving in human habitation areas in Jakeikala and neighbouring villages under Bonai forest subdivision for many days now.