A male elephant killed a Kanwad pilgrim from Delhi while he was on his way back home from Neelkanth Mahadev temple in Rishikesh on Monday night. It is learnt that the attack came when a group of pilgrims was returning from Neelkanth temple after offering holy water on the Shivling. The forest officials said that despite regular warnings and warning boards installed in the area, the pilgrims continue to be on the road during the night hours, inviting thus threat to themselves. However, the people living in the locality say that the number of death by the elephants is on rise over the past few months.
Rishabh, 21, from Karolbagh Delhi, was returning with his fellow pilgrims on Monday midnight from Neelkanth, a temple located in the vicinity of the forest area, when he was attacked by a male elephant. The jumbo trampled him to death while his friends managed to escape.
Speaking to The Pioneer on the matter, wild life warden Chilla range Ajay Sharma said, “Despite the warning boards installed in the area, alerting the people against elephants and the leopards visiting the place, the people risk their lives by travelling during the night. We saw an elephant on the road during the night patrol four days ago. We tried to shoo him away with air shots but the elephant did not relent. We took great pains to send the beast into the jungle.”
Observers say that the leftovers of the Bhandaras (community kitchen) organised during the Kanwad season are now making the elephants to stray out of the forests on the roads. “We are deeply concerned over several being trampled to death by the elephants in the area over the past few months,” said an observer.
Wednesday, 06 March 2019 | PNS | Haridwar
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