Man-animal conflict: Jumbo tramples one to death

Bhubaneswar/Sundergarh: In what could be termed as retaliation in man-animal conflict, an elephant trampled an old man to death in Telijor village under Balisankara block of Sundergarh district on Wednesday night.

The tragedy took place barely four days after a nerve shattering incident in which six elephants including two calves were run over by a speeding train near Rambha in Ganjam district.

According to locals the tusker, believed to be from neighbouring Jharkhand trampled the old man when the latter was out of his house in mid night to attend nature’s call. The man died on the spot. Telijor villagers said the pachyderm had been creating havoc since past one month in the area, leaving acres of their standing crops damaged.

“Despite several appeals to the forest officials to drive the elephant away from the region, they have failed to do so. Who will bear the loss caused to our crops?” rued Suman Hansda, a local adding the authorities have been unsuccessful in finding an effective way to drive the animals.

According to reports, the old man became the fifth victim of the rogue tusker’s wrath in past eight days. Fear of the tusker runs so deep that the villagers have stopped venturing outside after dusk.

Meanwhile, the blame game between the forest and railway officials, which ensued after the Sunday Jumbo tragedy, is in no mood to calm down with the latter on Wednesday claimed that there was no fault of the driver against whom the former had filed a case in Rambha.