Balasore: Six forest personnel, engaged for keeping elephants away from human settlement, faced villagers’ anger and frustration in Balasore district on Friday night.
According to sources, the villagers of Hatimunda under Nilagiri area of Balasore district allegedly thrashed a ranger and six other forest personnel and damaged two vehicles. The foresters sustained minor injuries in the attack.
On being informed, police reached the spot and brought the situation under control.
“Around 60 to 70 people villagers assaulted us for not guarding their crop fields,” alleged forester Umakant Jena.
On the other hand, the Assistant Conservator of Forests Laxman Pradhan said that the drive to chase away the elephants would resume only after police take action against the erring villagers.
“Armed with sticks, they brutally assaulted our staff. The drive has been suspended following the incident,” he added.
The rampaging Jharkhandi elephants have become a cause of headache for villagers and foresters, alike, for the past few days.
In September, elephants had destroyed standing crops in the area and villagers had to spend sleepless night on tree tops guarding their fields. Despite best efforts of the foresters to shoo them away from human habitation, they kept straying into the villages, the sources said, adding that this had become a trend for the past few years.