UDAYAPUR, Jan 1: An elderly woman in Udayapur was trampled to death by a rampaging elephant on Sunday evening.
Sabitra Rai, 70, of Triyuga-12, Sonapur was killed by the wild tusker on the premises of Sirjana Community Forest Consumers Committee of Triyuga Municipality-2. According to police, she died on the spot after the attack. She was reportedly trampled near the local Luhale River.
Superintendent of Police (SP) Chandra Dev Rai of the District Police Office (DPO), Udayapur informed Republica that the deceased was the wife of Saharman Rai. It has been learnt that the incident occurred at around 3 pm but police were informed only after 6 in the evening. Later, a team of police and a large number of locals reached the site to recover the body.
Police have sent the body to the District Hospital for postmortem. The body of the deceased was handed over to the family after postmortem on Monday. Ghaman Singh Khatri, ward chief of Triyuga Municipality-2, informed that the elephant later went on to damage bananas planted by the locals in Khaijanpur of Jogidaha after attacking the woman.
Terrified by the attack, villagers stayed awake all night by lighting bonfire, according to ward chief Khatri. Reportedly, three wild elephants strayed into human settlement some two weeks ago. Police say two of them are wandering in the border between Udayapur and Saptari while the other has been spotted time and again around Jogidaha.
SP Rai said that the Division Forest Office has been requested to provide compensation to the family members of the deceased and protect the other locals from tusker attacks.
Especially, people residing near the Chure range are living in constant fear of being attacked. The settlements in Chaudandigadhi-5, 9 and 10 are adjoined to the Chure forest and the villages of Belka Municipality-1, 2, 3, 4, and 8 share border with the Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve. Therefore, all these villages are prone to elephant rampage.
People living here often have sleepless nights fearing attacks and damage of property. In the last two weeks, elephants have damaged four houses in Triyuga-4. Earlier, tuskers had not just destroyed houses but also damaged the crops of locals in Chaudandigadhi-9 and 10. Tired of losing crops and vegetables, locals had filed a complaint with the police.
Bishnu Acharya, chief of the Division Forest Office says that several efforts have been made to chase away the elephants but none have paid off. He assured that people will get compensation in case of human casualty and property damage done by the elephants.