So does the state forest department...
Elephants cause havoc in Dumka
Paharia tribals in Dumka, Jharkand have been at the receiving end of a herd of twelve marauding elephants since three years . These tribals are amongst the most marginalised groups in the country; they are heavily dependent on the forest for subsistence. This brings them into regular conflict with forest officials. Many Paharias have been implicated in false cases by forest officials. The elephant menace has added to their woes. Fourteen Paharias have lost their lives in elephant attacks in the past three years; 10 were crushed to death on one night alone in 2002 (see table: Victims and damages). Pregnant women are forced to deliver on wooden platforms constructed on treetops for fear of pachyderm attacks.
Standing crops have been destroyed in a dozen Paharia villages and farming has come to a complete halt in Joram, Asanbani, Butbaria and Kanhaidih villages. The government has provided some compensation to the next of kin of those killed in the elephant attacks. Some voluntary associations have also come forward to help the families of the victims. However, repeated pleas from the tribals for help in getting rid of the marauding elephants from Dumka has elicited no response from the state forest department.
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