Leader of Opposition raises issue of Human-Elephant conflict in House; Paddy procurement centre watchman found in pieces after being trampled by elephants

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A 45-year-old watchman at a government paddy collection centre in Gariaband district was trampled to death by wild elephants on Wednesday and this issue was raised in the Chhattisgarh Assembly by the Leader of Opposition. The body of the man was found in four pieces, said the Leader of Opposition.

The victim, identified as Gyanchand, was attacked by the elephants during the wee hours when he was on duty at the centre located in Kundel village under Fingeshwar police station area, about 80 km from the state capital Raipur, he added.

The matter was raised in the Assembly by Leader of Opposition Dharamlal Kaushik and urged the state government to consider the incident on humanitarian grounds and provide adequate compensation to the kin of the dead watchman apart from a government job.

Forest Minister Mohammed Akbar assured that the state government will consider the incident sympathetically and would provide all necessary assistance to the victim’s family.

The forest official informed that at least 14 people were present at the paddy collection centre when the elephants strayed there apparently in search of food, the official said. On seeing the tuskers, 13 people escaped from there. However, the watchman failed to move out of the facility and the elephants caught hold of him with their trunks and trampled him to death, the official said.

Forest and police personnel rushed to the spot in the morning after being alerted and sent the body for post-mortem, he said. The kin of the deceased were provided an instant relief of Rs 25,000, he said, adding that the elephants were still roaming in the area and villagers were alerted.

In the past, several incidents of human-elephant conflict were reported from the thick forested areas of Surguja, Surajpur, Korba, Raigarh, Jashpur, Balrampur, Koriya and Gariaband districts in the state.

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