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Home » Beyond Metros » Human-elephant conflicts on the rise: Jumbo kills 16 people in 12 days in Jharkhand

Human-elephant conflicts on the rise: Jumbo kills 16 people in 12 days in Jharkhand

16 people were allegedly killed by a tusker in five Jharkhand districts over the past 12 days, prompting the administration to issue prohibitory orders under Section 144 in the Itki block of the Ranchi district, according to forest officials.

By Newsd
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There has been an increase in human-elephant conflicts in Jharkhand, prompting authorities to implement Section 144 bans in certain areas to prevent further casualties.

16 people were allegedly killed by a tusker in five Jharkhand districts over the past 12 days, prompting the administration to issue prohibitory orders under Section 144 in the Itki block of the Ranchi district, according to forest officials.

Tuesday saw four elephant-related deaths in a single Ranchi district block (February 21).

According to the divisional forest officer of Ranchi, Srikant Verma, the administration of Ranchi has prohibited gatherings of more than five individuals in the Itki block to prevent additional casualties. In addition to warning the villagers of the Itki block to remain inside their homes, especially during sunrise and sunset, they have been instructed not to approach elephants too closely.

“Villagers are gathering near the elephant, which caused one death today. In a bid to stop them, Section 144 Cr PC has been imposed by the Ranchi administration in Itki block today,” Verma told PTI.

Expert West Bengal team to combat the elephant

Sasikar Samanta, the principal chief conservator of forest (wildlife), stated that the forest department is employing an expert team from West Bengal to combat the elephant, which is suspected of killing 16 people in Hazaribag, Ramgarh, Chatra, Lohardaga, and Ranchi districts over the past 12 days.

“We have formed a committee composed of forest officers from four divisions and led by the Ranchi forest conservator. The committee will determine whether a single elephant is responsible for all 16 deaths. If the committee approves it, we will decide within two days,” he told PTI.

Samanta stated that the committee will investigate whether the elephant murders humans on purpose or whether the humans are responsible for their own deaths. Four people, including two women, were reportedly killed by the elephant in the Lohardaga district on Monday (February 20) and Sunday (February 19).

Identifying the elephant

Verma stated that it appeared to have entered the Itki block in Ranchi, approximately 25 kilometres from the capital, on Monday night, killing four people, including two women, and injuring one on Tuesday morning.

It is believed that the same elephant killed five people in Hazaribag 12 days ago and then moved to Ramgarh, where it killed one person in the Gola region. The animal then reportedly travelled to Chatra and killed another individual.

The Ranchi DFO stated, “We are examining the photographs and other factors to determine if it is the same elephant.” The divisional forest officer (DFO) of Lohardaga, Arvind Kumar, told PTI that a team of experts from the Bankura district of West Bengal had been hired to drive the elephant deep into the forest. Kumar states that there are numerous ways to identify an elephant.

“We have a tracking system in which each district contributes information regarding elephant movement in their respective regions. In addition, we have photographs and videos of the jumbos. This elephant has tusks, as did the elephant that caused fatalities in Hazaribagh, Lohardagga, and Ranchi,” he said, adding that they will compare the elephant’s height and other characteristics to determine if it is the same one.

A forest department official stated that each of the deceased’s surviving family members will receive $25,000 in immediate aid. After completing the required government procedures, each family of a victim will receive 3,750,000 in compensation.

Human-elephant conflicts on the rise

According to reports, 133 people were killed in elephant attacks in Jharkhand in 2021-22, a significant increase from the 84 fatalities recorded in the previous year.

In response to an RTI request, the Union ministry of environment, forest, and climate recently reported that 462 people have died in human-elephant conflicts in Jharkhand since 2017, including 133 in 2021-22.

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