Elephant attack: Two plantation workers killed in Hassan district

Residents of Hassan district demand permanent solution to human-elephant conflict

Residents of Hassan district demand permanent solution to human-elephant conflict

Two people were trampled to death by an elephant at a coffee plantation in Kadegarje village in Belur taluk of Hassan district on the morning of March 11. The incident happened around 9 a.m. when a group of people, including many women, were working at Sharada Estate.

The people who died – Chikkaiah, 50, from Kadegarje and Eeraiah, 60 – were part of a group of around 25 workers who worked in the field. Local people spotted the elephant moving to a nearby locality later that day. Police and officials from the Revenue Department and the Forestry Department attended the scene.

Chikkaiah and Eeraiah earned their living by working in private estates.

Residents of Kadegarje in Belur taluk of Hassan district in Karnataka stage a protest after two plantation workers were killed in an elephant attack.

Residents of Kadegarje in Belur taluk of Hassan district in Karnataka stage a protest after two plantation workers were killed in an elephant attack. | Photo credit: The Hindu

As news of their deaths spread, hundreds of people gathered on the road that connects Belur and Sakleshpur. They burned tires and blocked the road, alleging negligence by the Forest Department. They demanded the arrest of the relevant officials for their alleged failure to save human beings from elephant attacks. They threatened to continue the protest until Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai visits the scene.

Parts of Alur, Sakleshpur and Belur taluks have faced human-elephant conflicts for the past three decades. The area is home to more than 60 wild elephants, which are part of three to four groups and often pass through the plantations. Around 75 people have died in elephant attacks over the past 10 years in Hassan district alone.

At the Assembly

Sakleshpur MP HK Kumaraswamy and Belur MP KS Lingesh raised the issue during zero hour in Bengaluru Assembly hours after the incident. They demanded a permanent solution to the problem, citing the loss of life in elephant attacks every year.

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai in his budget had allocated ₹100 crore for barricades to prevent the movement of elephants.

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