Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Brahmapur, Mar 19:
Jumbos on Thursday claimed their third victim in the last fortnight as a 70-year-old man was trampled to death by a herd of elephants near Sorada forest range in Odisha’s Ganjam district.
The victim, identified as Kasinath Patra, was on his way to board a bus at Sorada when he encountered a herd of tuskers at Dhepapalli village near Sorada forest range. The herd mercilessly trampled him to death and also damaged crops while going through the fields.
“When the herd was moving through a thoroughfare under Sorada forest range, the victim got trapped in the middle and was mauled by the pachyderms,” said Ghumusar South Divisional Forest Officer, R K Mallick.
A sum of Rs 3 lakh will be given to the next to the kin of the deceased as per the government policy after receipt of the autopsy report, Mallick added.
A herd of at least nine elephants has migrated from Lakhari valley elephant reserve in search of food and water. In view of this, a ten-member squad has been stationed in the area to monitor the movement of the jumbos. Besides, the villagers have been asked not to venture into forest when elephants are around, a forest official said.
Despite these measures, however, this is the third such casualty due to elephants in the last fortnight. Two persons had died on March 4 when a wild elephant had trampled them at Dolaba, near Digapahandi.