- By Biswaranjan Pattnaik
Angul: At least two people have been killed by a wild elephant that attacked Saradhapur village in the Angul district of Odisha on Thursday night. The deceased have been identified as Guru Nayak of Saradhapur village and Ainthu Sahu of Chheliapada village. Guru Nayak, while returning from his computer classes in the night, encountered an elephant on the road. He couldn’t escape as the village road was swampy due to rain. The elephant crushed him to death on the spot. Similarly, Ainthu, who lived in a hut located inside the garden in front of his house to guard his crop on the night, was crushed to death by an elephant when he came out of his house, hearing some sound, to identify the animal. He also died on the spot.
The neighborhood was filled with tension as a group of angry residents staged a road blockade, insisting on fair compensation for the families of the deceased individuals.
Upon receiving the information, a squad of local forest officials and police promptly arrived at the village and engaged in a dialogue with the residents. The enraged locals decided to end their protest when the forest officials promised to investigate the issue and ensure appropriate compensation.
Subsequently, the bodies were sent to the hospital for postmortem examinations, and an inquiry was initiated. It is noteworthy that the unabated human-elephant conflict in this region has become a cause for concern for the residents as well as the administration. Despite innumerable efforts, the forest department hardly succeeds in chasing away the pachyderm. In January last year, four people died due to an elephant attack in Angul district in a single day.