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Three women killed, one injured by rogue elephants

Written by: Staff
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Hardwar, Nov 21 (UNI) Three women were crushed to death by a herd of elephants which strayed from the Rajaji National Park near here.

Geeta and Khursheeda, both residents of Hardwar, were trampled by elephants near the BHEL estate campus when they were returning from the park after collecting fodder, park sources said.

Another woman Sushila, who had accompanied them, was seriously injured in the attack.

In another incident one Savitri Devi fell victim to the rage of a rogue elephant near Rishikesh.

Both the incidents, which took place last afternoon, have created panic in the BHEL campus and adjoining rural areas.

Meanwhile, the forest authorities have recovered the mangled bodies of the three women. In the recent past, many such incidents have been reported in the region.

Rajaji National Park director G S Pandey told UNI that despite the on-going strike of the forest officials in the state, the authorities were busy conducting combing operations in order to steer the herd of elephants back into the park.

''As per forest laws of the state, an ex-gratia of Rs 1 lakh will be provided to the next of the kin of each victim. However, Rs 5,000 has already been given to to the families of the victims in order to perform the last rites,'' said Mr Pandey.

He further said the park authorities were considering a proposal to construct a four km-long wall to prevent the wild animals from straying into the BHEL area.

''We have approached the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehra Dun to prepare a design of elephant and leopard proof wall.

We have also asked the BHEL administration to allot funds for the construction of the wall,'' he added.

Meanwhile, the forest authorities have urged the villagers not to trespass into the prohibited forest areas in order to avoid any untoward incident.

UNI XC SSC DS1340

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