Jumbo attack death toll rises to four

Elephants have been wandering in Kolar and Bangalore Rural districts

Jumbo attack death toll rises to four

The number of people killed by elephants in the villages of the region since Saturday has risen to four. A reporter of a Kannada daily is one among the victims.

The journalist, Manjunath, 24, was trampled to death by the jumbos near a tank at Chikkataggali village in Hoskote taluk on Sunday afternoon.  

The herd of 22 jumbos, that have strayed from the neighbouring forests in Tamil Nadu, has been wandering in the villages of Malur taluk in Kolar district and Hoskote taluk in Bangalore Rural district, in search of food and water.

The body of one of the victims, Mallappa, 60, a shepherd, was found on Saturday. On Sunday morning, the bodies of Ramakrishnappa, 50, of Chokkandahalli and Chandrappa, 48, were found in the Abbenahalli forest. The latter is a former president of the Maliyappanahalli Gram Panchayat.

K S Manjunath Gowda, MLA from Malur, escaped being attacked by the jumbos by a whisker, when he was trying to disperse the mob that had gathered to catch a glimpse of the elephants at the eucalyptus grove.

Panicked pachyderms

The elephants, which panicked on seeing a huge crowd, tried to attack the people who had gathered. Residents in nearby villages are living in constant fear of the jumbos and have been keeping night vigil, sitting atop their houses.

Many farmers did not go to the fields on Sunday, fearing attacks. Agriculture labourers are forced to stay home, thus depriving them of the daily wages. There have been reports of losses of cabbage, tomato, jowar and mulberry crops. Forest officer Subbarao told reporters in Malur that efforts were being made to chase the elephants back into the Tamil Nadu forests.

Compensation

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Sunday announced a compensation of Rs five lakh to the family members of each of those killed in elephant attacks in Kolar and Bangalore Rural districts in the last two days. Siddaramaiah has condoled the death of journalist Manjunath.

MLA Manjunath Gowda has announced a compensation of Rs 50,000 to each of those injured. Crop losses will also be compensated.

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