Baripada: An elderly man was trampled to death by a marauding jumbo which strayed from Jharkhand to Bhaduasola village under Rasagobindpur forest range in Mayurbhanj district, Sunday night. The deceased was identified as Arjun Hansda, 65, a resident of the same village.
The matter came to the fore after villagers noticed the mutilated body of Hansda lying near his farmland. They informed the Forest department officials, Monday. The villagers also noticed the footprints of two elephants near the body. Hansda was killed by one of the two elephants, when he suddenly came across them. One of the elephants picked him up by his trunk, threw him afar and then trampled him to death.
The news of Hansda’s death sparked tension in the area. Villagers demanded that the kin of the deceased be adequately compensated and staged a demonstration on the issue. They also claimed that elephant herds from Jharkhand and Similipal areas are regularly straying into their locality and damage crops and properties. They said things have come to such a pass that it has become difficult for them to survive in the village in view of the lurking danger of jumbo menace.
The animals are pulling down the houses of poor villagers and consuming their various crops stored, including paddy. Recently, a minor boy in Madhuria village under Nalagaja panchayat died while sleeping as an elephant broke the wall which collapsed on the victim. The villagers warned that if necessary steps are not taken to check the jumbo menace, they would be forced to take to the streets in the coming days.
The angry villagers relented after Forest department officials led by Ranger Prasant Behera reached the spot and assured to provide compensation to the kin of the deceased as per the government norms. Forest officials sent the body for post-mortem and started an investigation.