Death of man in wild elephant attack agitates Sindhuli residents, block highwayThey demanded the marauding elephant be immediately transferred to any national park to prevent further loss of lives.
Raj Kumar Karki
A 40-year-old man died in an elephant attack in Kamalamai Municipality-13 of Sindhuli district on Saturday.
According to the District Police Office, the wild elephant attacked and killed Dandapani Paudel while he was asleep early on Saturday. The tusker tore down Paudel’s home and attacked him at around 3am.
Paudel was a daily wage labourer working as a street sweeper in the Madan Bhandari Highway.
After the incident, agitated locals obstructed traffic in the Ranibas section of the highway for about six hours demanding that the wild animal be taken into control and suitable compensation should be provided to the victim’s family. They demanded that the marauding elephant be immediately transferred to any national park to prevent further loss of lives and properties.
The deceased’s family members refused to receive the body from Sindhuli Hospital until the authorities concerned addressed their demands. The protesters called off their agitation and the bereaved family received the body following an agreement with the authorities.
“The demonstrators called off protest after the district administration office, the division forest office and the ward office agreed to provide compensation to the victim’s family within a month, provide employment to a member of the deceased and provide compensation for the crops damaged by the tuskers,” said Pujan Wakhrel, a local.
Wild elephants wreak havoc at wards 13 and 14 of Kamalamai Municipality and ward 3 of Dudhauli Municipality in Sindhuli every year, mainly in winter. The elephants attack people, dismantle houses and damage crops.
Hem Bahadur Thapa, the information officer at the division forest office, said that around four dozen houses were damaged by the tuskers in Sindhuli in the past four months. According to him, there are three wild elephants in the area that often enter the human settlements.
Many farmers in the affected area have left their arable land fallow as the tuskers damage crops planted there every year. “I have given up growing crops in my seven-kattha land in winter for the past few years,” said Dukuendra Baral of Ranibas in Kamalamai-13. “Many people have left their land fallow in this area due to elephant menace.”