Jumbo tramples four to death in Puri | Bhubaneswar News timesofindia.indiatimes.com


BHUBANESWAR: Man-elephant conflict reared its ugly head in Puri district as a marauding elephant trampled four persons to death in Pipili on Sunday. Elephant attack is rare in the district.
As the incident triggered panic in the locality, district administration asked people to remain indoors and refrain from teasing the animal. Those, who died in the elephant attack, were identified as Jugalkishore Bhatt, 59, of Gopinathpur village, Chaitanya Sahoo, 41, of Rajatai village, Makar Palei, 62, of Chandradeipur Matisahi village and Ajay Kumar Nayak, 45, of Jamalpur village. The villages, where the elephant went on the rampage, are within 5-km radius of Pipili.
Police said the elephant attacked Bhatt, Sahoo and Palei in the early hours of Sunday when they were relieving themselves on paddy fields. “We received information that the three persons could not run as the elephant chased and trampled them to death. Nayak died in the evening. He came close to the jumbo and it attacked him,” said an officer in Pipili police station.
Forest officials from Puri and Khurda districts were engaged to chase away the elephant. Forest officials suspect the elephant sneaked into Pipili Delanga area from Barunei forest in Khurda district. The officials also suspect that the elephant turned violent after being teased by a mob.
When contacted, divisional forest officer, Khurda, Sudeep Nayak said efforts are being made to drive the elephant away from Pipili. “We are trying to drive the elephant towards Barunei forest. People in the locality have been requested to take precautions and not irritate the pachyderm,” Nayak said.
Pipili MLA (BJD) and former minister Pradeep Maharathy said the government would provide compensation of Rs 4 lakh each to the next of the kin of the deceased. “We sensitised people through public address system to stay home. People were also urged not to pelt the elephant with stones or burst crackers that would annoy the elephant,” Maharathy said.
A forest department source said 369 persons died in elephant attacks in the state between January 2015 and June 2019. At least 100 persons were killed by elephants in the state in 2019-20 (till January 2020), an all-time high.

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