Jumbos spooked by cracker burst crush farmer to death

Jumbos spooked by cracker burst crush farmer to death

Villagers surround dead farmer Dev Kumar.

A 30-year-old man was crushed to death by a group of elephants after he burst crackers to save his standing crops from the marauding pachyderms, in Koriya district of Chhattisgarh in the early hours of Sunday.

According to forest officials, since two weeks a herd of 11 elephants were camping in Guru Ghasidas National Park area under Koriya Forest Division, Baikunthpur. In the dead of night, they strayed into the nearby hamlets to feed on standing crops.

On Sunday, around 1 am, the herd broke up and one group began devouring the pulse crop of Dev Kumar, 30, in Meco village. When he heard the chomping sound, he threw caution to the winds and burst crackers to scare the elephants away. It was all quiet thereafter, and Dev ventured into his fields to check if the jumbos had fled. Three elephants ambushed and crushed him to death.

The Forest department sent Dev's body for post mortem and appealed to the villagers not to venture near the elephants. 

No night vigil

The villagers alleged that Forest department staff monitor the movement of elephants only during the day and it was free for all at night. Hence, the villagers had no option but to fend for themselves to save their crops.

Akhilesh Mishra, Forest officer, Baikunthpur, when contacted said the herd had reached Salwa and was grazing there.

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