Farmer injured in elephant attack dies at hospital
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Farmer injured in elephant attack dies at hospital

September 4, 2023

Villagers stage protest against Forest Dept. near Saragur

Saragur: A farmer, who had sustained serious injuries when an elephant attacked him on Friday night and admitted to K.R. Hospital in Mysuru, has succumbed to injuries at the Hospital yesterday.

The deceased farmer is Siddarajanayaka (36), a resident of Kundur village in the taluk. Angered over the death of Siddarajanayaka, villagers staged a protest against the Forest Department, holding it responsible for the death.

Siddarajanayaka, who was guarding the banana plantation, was attacked by the wild elephant on Friday night and when his family members went to the plantation the next day morning, they saw Siddarajanayaka seriously injured and admitted him to K.R. Hospital in Mysuru, where he succumbed to injuries yesterday morning.

When the body of Siddarajanayaka was brought to the burial grounds in the village, hundreds of villagers staged a protest against the Forest Department by placing the body at the protest spot.

Pointing out that the Forest Department was responsible for Siddarajanayaka’s death, the angry villagers shouted slogans against the Forest Department. They said that the Forest Department had not dug elephant trenches, not installed railway barricades and solar fences, which was resulting in wild elephants entering human habitats in search of food and water. “Though we had appealed the Forest Department many times to take steps to prevent wild animals from entering villages in forest borders, the Department had not responded,” the villagers said.

The villagers accused the Forest Department Officials and staff of not guarding villages bordering forests effectively. “They are giving only false information to their higher officers and the farmers have to bear the consequences. Because of the Forest Department, many farmers were losing their lives. It has become inevitable to safeguard our standing crops by guarding the crops ourselves during night and falling prey to elephants. The Forest officials do not even bother to visit the spot of incident thus displaying their negligent attitude,” the farmers accused.

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Meanwhile, Karnataka Rajya Kalyana Raitha Sangha State President Chandan Gowda said that the menace of wild animals in villages bordering forests were increasing and it is becoming difficult for farmers to protect their crops which they have grown throughout the year.

Chandan Gowda warned of intensifying the agitation if the Forest Department do not act swiftly to control elephants raiding standing crops.

Saragur Sub-Inspector Nandeesh, Range Forest Officer Madhu Devaiah and staff Abhilash and Avinash were present at the protest spot.

Earlier, H.D. Kote MLA Anil Chikkamadu handed over the first instalment compensation cheque of Rs. 5 lakh to the deceased Siddarajanayaka’s family members. The remaining compensation cheque of Rs. 10 lakh will be giver after the completion of legal procedures.

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