3 tea garden labourers trampled to death

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Jorhat, Feb 12 (PTI) Three tea garden labourers,including a woman, were trampled to death by an elephant fromGibbon Wildlife Sanctury in upper Assam''s Jorhat district,a senior Forest Department said here today.

The tusker from Gibbon Wildlife Sanctury under MarianiForest Range trampled to death the female labourer SunitaTanti (30), at Kathalguri tea estate (TE) last night.

Another Montu Majhi (18) and Lalu Tanti (36) werekilled at Bhelaguri (TE) and Bisnoi tea estates on Thursdaynight, Forest Beat Officer Devojit Gogoi said.

The elephant had probably got separated from herd andlost its way triggering panic in the areas surrounding thesanctuary.

The forest deparment was making efforts to guide theanimal back to the Gibbon Sanctury, which has over 65pachyderms in its 19.62 Sq. Km area.

During the dry season food and water was in shortsupply in the area forcing the pachyderms to come out insearch of food leading to man-elephant conflict, he said.

Years ago the elephants from the forest reserves usedto go out through the various corridors towards theuninhabited hills of Nagaland or Arunachal Pradesh, forestdepartment sources said.

But with these hillsides now occupied by the new teagardens, the jumbos were forced to enter the human habitationlooking for food and water, the sources said.

The growing human population within the researveforest land too posed risk to the animals, the sources added.

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) for Nature or similarwildlife organisations should also be involved to tackle thesituation, they added.

The opposition AGP''s tea cell, led by its PresidentDulen Nayak, has demanded a compensation of Rs sixlakh as per the Wildlife Protection Act, 1926.

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