Sixty five-year-old farmer M. Marappan alias Mallan from Pavadaipatti village near Royakottai in Krishnagiri district was trampled to death by a herd of seven elephants in the early hours on Thursday. This was the second death during this calendar. On January 1, C. Salamma (50) was killed by wild elephants when she went to the field in Sigaralapalli village near Shoolagiri.

M. Jayapal, elder son of the deceased and an eyewitness, told The Hindu that the incident took place at around 3.30 a.m. Mr. Jayapal was returned to his residence cum motor shed from his agriculture field after diverting water evenly to the cabbage crop at 2.30 a.m.

An hour after he went to sleep at the terrace, he heard a loud noise and woke up from the terrace and found that a herd of wild elephants were nearing his shed. Though, an elephant was trying to catch him, he escaped by hiding under the parapet wall of the first floor and raised alarm. Hearing the scream, the Marappan came out of the motor room without noticing the elephants in the dark. The elephants roaming nearby attacked him. He was thrown away for some distance by one of the elephant from the herd.

On hearing sound for help, the villagers and the forest officials rushed to the place and chased away the pachyderms inside the Udedurgam Reserve Forests.

Mr. Marappan was rushed to the Government Headquarter’s Hospital and succumbed to his injuries at around 6 a.m. An immediate relief a cheque for an amount of Rs. 25,000 was handed over to Ms. M. Maramma, wife of the deceased by the forest department.

The body of the deceased was handed over to the relatives after the post-mortem at the Government Headquarters’ Hospital in Krishnagiri.

Villagers were asked to switch on a light near the vicinity of their agriculture fields or the motor sheds to avoid wild animals nearing the places of lighting.

As a precautionary measure, the forest department has issued as many as 60 new power search lights during this fiscal to safeguard from the wild animals through Village Forest Committees.

Digging of moats for 59 km is on full swing, of this, the work on 30 km is over, in another fifteen days, work on the rest of the 29 km would be over.