Following protests by locals, the Kerala government announced Rs 10-lakh compensation and a job to the kin of the deceased.
The second migrating herd of the Dalma range of elephants that entered Bankura last week, destroyed several acres of almost ready-toharvest paddy on Beliatore last night, causing loss of cash crop cultivated by at least a dozen of marginal farmer families in Beliatore range here.
This was for the first time the pachyderms have invaded the farmlands this year. The aggrieved farmers protested for several hours demanding compensation against crop damage, besides pushing back the herd.
Farmer Biswajit Ghosh said, “The herd has ruined our fate as most of the cultivators had borrowed cash for sowing.” Sangrami Ganamancha, a forum of struggling farmers in Bankura demanded immediate intervention by the forest department and the civil administration.
“Our staff has already removed the herd from the affected fields and another team has started field verification work to have an estimation of crop loss in actual,” said Umar Imam, DFO, Bankura (North). The herd of 24 migratory elephants, camping in the Sonamukhi range of forests, since three days suddenly invaded 23km further deep towards the western stretches and appeared in the farmlands of Bandarkonda village in Beliatore range.
The herd found ample paddy while foraging and it went on the rampage too. The DFO said, “Since the herd accommodates a newly-born calf, we cannot drive it as there’s every possibility that it may retaliate at any moment. We are keeping track of its movement.”