Wild elephants attack Chhattisgarh village, tribals flee

Raipur, Nov 15 (Inditop.com) Around 40 families of a forested tribal village in Chhattisgarh migrated to safer areas Sunday after wild elephants went on rampage for two consecutive nights and brought down several mud-built houses, forest officials said.

A group of wild tuskers had Friday night sneaked into Bakalo village in Surguja district, 420 km from here, and demolished three houses. The animals destroyed another four houses Saturday night, forcing the 40 tribal families of the village to migrate to safer areas until the elephants retreat from the nearby Premnagar forested belt.

“It’s not a new case that tribals have left their villages for a brief period due to the fear of jumbos in Surguja. It’s quite a regular feature in the area and the tribals know that the animals will not stay in their village for more than three-four days,” a forest department official told IANS here.

Chhattisgarh’s vast northern region, comprising Surguja, Jashpur, Koria, Korba and Raigarh districts, have recorded a sharp rise in man-elephant conflicts in recent months.

The state government annually pays people living in villages that are surrounded by forests, millions of rupees in compensation for the loss of human lives and the massive damage caused to houses and crops by wild elephants.

The state government said it is trying to find a permanent solution to the decades-old man-elephant conflict and is willing to work on a proposal by NGO Earth Matters Foundation, which has suggested setting up “elephant villages” to help keep wild jumbos away from areas inhabited by people.