RAJBIRAJ, April 30: The residents of eastern Saptari which borders the Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve often have sleepless nights due to the fear of wild elephants entering the settlement.
Last Monday, an elephant from the wildlife reserve killed Durgadevi Yadav, 40, of Kanchanrup Municipality-11. As per the witnesses, elephants came at night, knocked down Yadav's house and stamped her to death. According to the Area Police Office, Kanchanpur, Yadav's body was recovered in a very bad shape. However, this is not the first time elephants have killed a villager. Altogether, three women of Kanchanrup Municipality have lost their lives in the last two months in elephant attacks.
As many as seven people of Saptari have been killed by elephants in last one year. On February 13, two women of Kanchanrup Municipality were beaten to death by elephants. Durgidevi Mukhiya, 45, and Manjudevi Sah, 35, of Pathari were killed by elephants while they were collecting cow dung cakes in a nearby field.
Similarly, on December 25, 2016, Raghunath Khanga, 55 of Hanumannagar Kankalini Municipality-1, Bhardaha was killed by an elephant. Likewise, on November 3, 2016, Allauddin Khan, 62, of Bairawa Gaun was crushed to death by an elephant when he was out tending the crops. In the same year, another youth was killed while one was critically injured. Both of them were from Hanumanagar.
These are just representative cases as there are dozens of people who have been crushed to death by rampaging elephants.
Though the locals here are struggling for their survival since a long time, the responsible authorities have not done much to stop or minimize elephant attacks. Wild elephants have been terrorizing Hanumannagar Kankalini, Kanchanrup and Saptakoshi municipalities for over a decade now.
Locals have time and again staged sit-ins and various forms of protests demanding compensation and long term solution to the problem. They have even submitted memorandums to various authorities but all of these have been in vain.
Following the death of many people and loss of property, reserve administration had announced to install electric fence around the forest areas with the coordination of District Administration Office (DAO) six years ago. But until now no work has started toward that end.