Sidharth Tanmoy Dash

Keonjhar: Panic gripped locals of Nahabeda village under Jhumpura block of Keonjhar after a herd of 22 wild elephants strayed into the village and  damaged crops and other property.

“The elephants have been damaging our crops from past three days and also destroying  houses in the village, forcing  us to stay awake all night to guard the crops and drive away the elephants,” said Kalpalata Pradhan, a local.

Not only Nahabeda, the jumbos have been causing damage and destruction in nearby villages Fulachuda, Mankadachua, Khandera, Fakirpur and Suluguda.

“We have already prepared the paper works for compensation after conducting preliminary investigation. After getting the papers signed by the affected locals and higher authorities we will send them to DFO who will release the compensation amount immediately," said Bidyadhar Sahu, Forester of Balibandha Brit under Champua Range.