Jharkhand: Herd of elephants unleash trail of destruction in Netarhat
MF Ahmad, Lagatar News
January 21, 2023
A herd of around 14 elephants, including three calves, has unleashed terror
in the villages located in the jungles of Netarhat.
Brinda Pandey, the ranger Mahuadarn of the Palamu Tiger Reserve (PTR) said
the herd of elephants killed a two-year-old boy on January 17.
According to Pandey, the mother of the infant had two children, a boy aged
two and a 6-year-old. While his mother sprinted away from the elephant, the
younger child simply dropped to the ground. The ranger claimed that the boy
was violently crushed to death.
He added that Punita and her six-year-old child are being treated at the
Sadar Hospital in Gumla for trauma, shock, and blunt injuries they acquired
during their desperate escape from a life-threatening scenario.
Notably, Punita is from the primitive, helpless Nagesia tribe, therefore
PTR officials have handed her Rs 25,000 and are prepared to cover the
expense of her medical care as well.
Kumar Ashish, deputy director South division of PTR said the herd of
elephants is not from PTR but has come from Gumla. He continued by saying
that if the herd has calves, the elephants will undoubtedly become more
aggressive to protect their young.
Punita and her only remaining kid were transferred to the health centre in
Netarhat before being transported down to the Sadar hospital in Gumla,
according to the Mahuadanr ranger, who said that Punita’s hut was too
distant and difficult to reach for rescue and relief efforts to be
successful in time.
According to Pandey, this herd of elephants has so far levelled 28 homes,
some of which have been completely destroyed. The same herd destroyed two
homes in the village of Sohar this morning.
Sunil Kr Singh, a BJP MP from Chatra, stated to lagatar24.com today that he
would be writing to Bhupinder Yadav, the union minister of environment,
forest, and climate change, to ask for assistance in saving the tiger
reserve Palamu, its wildlife, and the villagers who live there and nearby
as it is the elephants who first kill them or destroy their huts and
standing crops, and now the leopard, which attacked a young girl.
“What I feel is that PTR should have by now a dedicated squad of its own
trained personnel to deal with the herd of the elephants instead of calling
trained personnel of the West Bengal every time the herd of the elephants
descends from Chhatisgarh or from other districts of Jharkhand as well like
this herd of the elephants in Netarhat which is stated to have come from
Gumla of our state,” he said.
The Chatra MP emphasised that a local anti-elephant squad will have the
people’s faith and confidence more than a team from outside the state in
their ability to drive away the elephant herd.
He said if PTR develops this mechanism for driving away the rampaging
elephants then it will be better for PTR and its people as well.
According to Singh, a permanent strategy to disperse a rampaging elephant
herd will likely reduce man-elephant conflict, which PTR needs more of
right now in light of the two-pronged attack—one by an elephant and the
other by a leopard—on residents of the forests or of the Palamu Tiger