Chhattisgarh village panics as jumbos run amok

Raipur, Feb 18 (IANS) Residents of a village in Raigarh district of Chhattisgarh are panic stricken after a herd of wild elephants demolished eight houses and have been camping there ever since.

‘A group of wild elephants sneaked into Junwani village Monday night and brought down eight houses creating panic among some 150 villagers,’ local forest official Manmohan Mishra told IANS by phone.

Mishra said that elephants were still roaming in the village though forest officials were trying to chase them away.

The village is around 250 km from state capital Raipur.

The forest department has assured the villagers that government will pay compensation for the losses caused by the elephants.

According to forest officials, 29 people in the state were trampled to death by jumbos last year with majority of deaths reported from the state’s vast northern region comprising Surguja, Jashpur, Koria, Korba and Raigarh districts.

The state government paid Rs.42 lakh as compensation to families who lost their members in elephant attacks in 2009.

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