HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
GAIGHAT: The five-member-family of Jagat Rai of Tapeshwori, Udayapur, has been forced to live in the open after a violent tusker destroyed their hut.
“It may be because of the cold that my kids have started to fall sick,” said Jagat.
Similar is the plight of another victim, Keshav Ale, who has been taking shelter under a tent with his family. He lamented, “As soon as darkness sets in, we have to watch out for the tusker and have to stay up throughout the night to guard our tent.”
They are not the only ones who have been bearing the brunt of tusker attacks, a dozen more families in the adjoining villages have been displaced.
A group of tuskers from Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve strayed into the human settlement and destroyed more than 50 huts and shelters at Ramnagar area in the past two weeks. While many victims who lost their huts have been staying in the open, some of them are staying at their relatives’ houses. Some families have been starving as the tuskers have destroyed their crops.
Bimali, a victim, complained that they have not received any help from the government so far, despite making appeals to the concerned authorities several times.
According to police, houses belonging to Jageshwor Singh, Ram Chandra Mahato, Tirtha Man Tamang, Gopal Phuyal, Bhalai Chaudhary, Brahmadev Marik, Ganga Ram Mahato, Subad Bahadur Bhattarai, Raguni Sah, Baleshwor Yadav were destroyed by the tuskers two days ago.
“These days we have been receiving complaints about the terror unleashed by elephants in villages almost every day,” said Chandra Narayan Singh, in-charge of Tapeshwori Police Post in the district.
According to ASI Singh, a police team and locals have been patrolling the village every night. “We chase away the tuskers every night but they appear the next day again,” said Singh.
Narayan Shrestha, Assistant forest officer, said his office was mobilising forest security guards to tame the tuskers. “Hopefully, we will be able resolve the problem soon,” Shrestha said.
Relief for victims
RAUTAHAT: The government on Wednesday granted relief of Rs 6 lakh to the family of Govinda Giri, resident of Laxminiya-Butawatol in Rautahat. Govinda and his son Suman Giri were killed in a wild elephant’s attack on December 11. Raj Dev Yadav, Director of central regional forest directorate, handed over the cheque to the victim’s family at a function organised in Hetauda.