Reported by Malay Ray
Sundargarh, September 27:
An elephant herd trampled a 26-year-old woman and her two-year-old son in the wee hours today at Katangjharia village in Odisha’s Sundargarh district.
According to reports, a 22-member elephant herd entered into Katangjharia village at around 4 am early today and went on a rampage. Fearing for their lives, about 12 persons ran for safer hideouts but the woman from the same family was caught in the middle. The herd trampled the woman and her son to death.
The deceased identified as Champa Mahanandia (26) and Pravin (2) had come to their parent’s place to stay for some days.
After getting information, Bargaon forest range officials of Sundargarh forest division reached the spot and informed Kutra police station. The bodies were sent for post-mortem.
Sundargarh forest division have provided Rs 20, 000 to the family members of the deceased towards cremation expenses. Besides, the Sarpanch of Katangjharia village has also provided Rs 4, 000 from Harischandra scheme.
“We will provide Rs 6 lakh (Rs 3 lakh to each deceased) to family members of the deceased towards compensation after completion of necessary formalities as per the provisions of the government. Since we have given Rs 20, 000 to the family members of deceased for their cremation, rest Rs 5.80 lakh will be given to them after the completion of all formalities by them,” said Arjun Behera, Divisional Forest Officer, Sundargarh forest division.
“We are now keeping close watch on the movement of the elephant herd and we will try to drive them away towards Jharkhand forest on Sunday night,” Behera added.
Notably, about a week ago, the herd from Jharkhand had entered into Katangjharia forest area, near Kutra area of Sundargarh but Sundargarh forest officials had driven them towards Jharkhand forests on Sep 25. But, it had again come back and had entered into Katangjharia forest area and strayed into human habitation causing the casualties today.