Forest tusker crushes labourer to death at Baratang

Report by: 
30 Jan 2017
In a tragic incident, a 45 year old forest labourer, identified as Ghuran Tirkey, was trampled to death by an elephant in the Sukha Tikrey range at Baratang on Monday. According to sources the victim seated on the elephant, was carrying out routine lumbering activities at around 12.30 pm today when the angry tusker tossed the mahout and crushed him under its foot. Desperate efforts by other forest workers present on the spot to save Ghuran proved futile. The Sundergarh Panchayat immediately rushed a tractor to the remote location as the approach path is unfit for other vehicles and Ghuran was shifted to the Primary Health Centre here for necessary examination.
According to reports, the forest labourer, a resident of Rokha Chang, in remote Baratang, was engaged on ad hoc basis by the Forest Department and was entrusted the responsibility of a mahaut. About five forest tuskers in the Baratang forest division are engaged in lumbering activities with just one regular trained mahaut, while labourers on ad hoc or daily rated basis find it difficult to command the giant mammal without proper training. The ill-fated forest labourer is survived by his wife and two small children.
Speaking to this correspondent, the Pradhan of Sundergarh Panchayat, Mr Biju Gurudasan demanded appropriate monetary compensation for the deceased labourer. “It’s a tragic incident and the Department of Environment and Forest should provide adequate compensation for the family of the forest worker. The agency, which employs a good number of elephants for lumbering in various parts of these islands, should also take necessary steps to prevent such mishaps in future,” said Mr Gurudasan extending his condolences to the members of the bereaved family.