Curious onlookers mess it up

Elephant attacks recur, but Task Force report is gathering dust

Curious onlookers mess it up

Tens of bikes and cars rushing at speeds unknown to people surrounding Huskur village created both panic and curiosity here.

At the end of the dusty trail was a herd of elephants hiding quietly in a thick bush surrounded by a large number of “irksome” humans.

Crop fields were trampled upon, children pushed down, and hordes of people ran harum-scarum in Huskur village where the herd from Tamil Nadu strayed in early Monday morning. But the culprits were not the elephants.

The damage caused, save a school compound near Dommasandra en route to Huskur, was all done by people.

“Sir, why are you not using your batons... these people are ruining my crop,” Sreenivasappa, one of the villagers, complained vehemently to two police constables who were trying to contain the crowd, futilely.

Crop destroyed

People were walking all over his onion crops. They had come from different places – Chintalamadiwala, Singena Agrahara, Ramasagara and even from Bangalore.

No regard for requests from the police to stay away from the elephants, no respect for others, people were seen scampering from one place to another, flaunting gadgets of all kinds, trying to capture the elephants.

Muniraju, a man in the crowd, sustained injuries when he tried getting too close to the herd. But luck had him escape with minor bruises. That he had carelessly used his camera flashlights left nobody else to be blamed.

“We know that people are not here to cause us trouble. But their behaviour not only hampers the operation but also poses a threat to their own lives, which they do not understand. We are stuck in a situation where we are not allowed to really use force and at the same time, we cannot allow people near the elephants,” a cop said.

Hindrance

The crowd was largely responsible for the delay in the forest officials guiding the herd out of the bushes, towards the forest area.

At one point, the elephants, distracted by the crowd, began moving in the direction of Harohalli, which officials had been trying to prevent. The herd, however, reverted to the bushes and stayed put there till evening.

Also, many people sustained minor injuries while trying to run through the fields or climbing buildings. But nothing hampered their spirits.

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