Assam villagers terrorised by wild elephants

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Hatighar Pathar (Assam), Dec 19 (ANI): A herd of about 80 wild elephants have been camping at Hatighar Pathar areas of Assam for the past two months, posing a threat to human life, properties and crops of residents.

Villagers said that on Friday two wild elephants destroyed several paddy fields, about to be harvested.

Most of the villagers and farmers are forced to delay their harvesting due to the presence of wild pachyderms, which come out even in daytime in the paddy fields destroying whatever comes their way.

"This wild herd of elephants first came to Hstikhal (Assam) from Nagapahar, the normal life of the villagers have been severely affected. Due to the fear of attack, we cannot go to our fields and farms. They used to come and destroy our standing crops. Elephant used to come here very frequently and now we are living in constant fear here," said Tularam Hazarika, a local.

The residents of Buragaon, Bali Chapori, Hatighar Pathar villages are spending sleepless nights due to the fear of elephant attacks for the past 2 months.

The alerted villagers and the forest guards of Jorhat district are keeping 24 hours vigil in almost all the corridors, villages and fields.

The herd comes out at nighttime to roam around the paddy fields and destroy crops and a few dwelling houses of poor farmers.

The main cause of the conflict between man and elephant could be due to scarcity of fodder in the Hills areas bordering Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh states and so they make way to the nearby villages for food and shelter.

The people of Buragaon area have appealed to the forest Department and the state and central government to take up viable steps for the protection of human life and property as well as the life of the wild animals.

The state has a history of wild elephants straying into human settlements.

Massive deforestation, poaching and people encroaching upon forest corridors have forced elephants to move out of their natural habitats in search of food and water. (ANI)

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