Elephants walk into Orissa’s Kandhamal district by surprise, and the tribals seem to have no way to handle this giant challenge
Armed tribals and dalits kept the road blocked at Kanjamendi square in Kandhamal district on Tuesday demanding solution for the severe wild elephant menace in Daringbadi and K.Nuagaon blocks.
The agitators included families who had lost their houses and belongings due to attacks of wild elephants during past few months. More than 2,000 persons including children and women took part in this agitation. Tribal organisation Lok Sangram Manch (LSM) supported this agitation. The agitators were led by tribal leaders of the area like Dhaneswar Mallik, Kusanath Pradhan, Dilip Pradhan.
This road blockade snapped road communication to Baliguda, the sub-divisional headquarter. The NH 217 that passes through the Kanjimendi square also remained blocked. The Bhanjanagar-Baliguda and Daringbadi-Baliguda roads were blocked as they also passed through this square.
On Monday the Baliguda Sub-Collector, V. Krishna had held discussions with the leaders of the agitators at K.Nuagaon block office. Yet the agitators could not be pacified. The Block Development Officer and Tehsildar of K.Nuagaon were trying to persuade the agitators to clear off the road till evening. As a measure of pacification the administrative officials promised to start disbursing work orders for construction of new houses for families whose houses were destroyed by wild elephants under the ‘Mo Kudia Yojana’ of the State government from Tuesday.
Mr. Mallik said during past four months the remote villages inhabited by tribal and dalit families in Daringbadi and K.Nuagaon blocks are facing regular attacks of wild elephants without any action by forest officials to drive away the pachyderms. Two women have also been killed by these elephants.