Jumbos' terror back to haunt Chhattisgarh tribals



Raipur: After giving sleepless nights for a week to tribals in forests of Chhattisgarh's Surguja district late last month, a herd of wild jumbos returned Monday to the same pocket, forcing dozens of families to migrate to safer areas.

A group of seven wild jumbos entered two forested villages - Bakna and Bakdiha - in the wee hours.

Around 32 poor tribal families were forced to migrate to safer areas after the tuskers devastated paddy crops in one acre area and brought down a portion of a temple, a forest official said.

Last month also, the tribals had to flee their houses following such attacks.

The tribal residents of the two villages in Surguja district, 380 km from here, were under constant attacks by wild jumbos for the past two years and since this March, the residents migrated six times for brief periods to avoid the wild jumbos' wrath.

According to the officials at the forest headquarters here, the state has witnessed a record 7,023 cases of attacks by wild elephants during January-July on houses, standing crops and forest residents.

The total human deaths in the first seven months was 11, while 610 houses were demolished and 6,402 cases of damage to crops registered.

Forest Minister Vikram Usendi told the state assembly last month that some 103 wild jumbos were roaming in the state mainly in the northern region which is made up of Surguja, Jashpur, Raigarh, Korea and Korba districts.

IANS