Three government teachers, travelling in a car to attend their school duties, faced a near death experience at Ramnagar (Nainital) on Monday after a tusker attacked their vehicle. Sensing the violent mood of the elephant the teachers abandoned the car to run to a safe location to save their lives. The tusker badly damaged the car and took away all the edibles that were inside the vehicle.
Mohan Chandra Kalakoti, Kangana Yadav, and one more female teacher started their journey from Ramnagar on Monday morning and were headed for Salt. Travelling on the National Highway-121 was a routine for them. As they reached Mohan, 17 km from Ramnagar, a tusker attacked their vehicle and damaged it. It was a lucky escape for the teachers as none of them suffered any injuries.
An eyewitness, Chander Singh Rawat, Sarpanch of Taram Talla (Salt) Van Panchayat says, “The incident took place at 7.30 am and as the teachers saw the elephant approaching their car, they made a wise decision to leave the vehicle and run to a safe location. One male and two female teachers were in the car.”
A forest staff on duty fired a few rounds from his gun to drive the elephant away from the highway. By that time the angry elephant had damaged the car and took away jaggery, bananas, and other edibles which were to be distributed among students.
This is the third incident in which an elephant has caused harm to a vehicle plying on the National Highway-121, connecting Ranikhet and Pauri. Earlier this year, the same tusker attacked a loader and very recently a car carrying ration and other materials of a restaurant. Local resident Ganesh Rawat said, “In the past, no such incident used to take place. We used to hear about elephant blocking the highway in Dehradun and Haridwar. But not in and around Corbett Park. This is an alarming situation and the forest department should immediately shift the elephant which has turned dangerous for human life.”
The villagers were constantly complaining to the forest department to act against the tourists who used to feed the elephant while plying through the highway. But the forest department paid no heed to the complaints and now the tusker is constantly invading the highway and causing harm to the vehicles in search for food.