Deopara (Assam), Jan 27 : In yet another instance of man-animal conflict arising out of dwindling vegetation, a herd of rampaging wild elephants killed one person and caused massive destruction to property in Deopara in Assam.
The pachyderms also destroyed standing crops, apart from decimating houses on Saturday. Locals said that a herd of about 170 wild elephants is roaming in the forests of Assam.
The elephants have become more active since Bihu (harvest festival) and in spite of repeated complaints by the villagers nothing has been done by the authorities to protect them.
"Since Bihu, the elephants are posing a problem in this area. They have destroyed many houses and crops. Though the authorities have been informed and protection has been sought from them, there has been no help forthcoming," said Paresh Deori, a villager.
The elephants have destroyed around 100 houses so far. In this attack, they also killed a person in the village.
"It was around 2 a.m. an elephant attacked my father when he was asleep. He was hurled to death by the elephant," said Lakhimai Deori, daughter of the deceased.
There is immense fear among the villagers who are now praying to the almighty to protect them from the elephants.
With an estimated 5,000 elephants, Assam has the largest concentration of wild Asiatic elephants in India.
The big herds, faced with shrinking forest cover and human encroachment of their corridors, venture into human settlements looking for food and attack those who try to stop them.