Elephant Menace: Farmers threaten to commit suicide in K'taka

Mysuru, April 26 (IANS) The residents of Maduvinahalli village near Nanjangud town in Karnataka's Mysuru district on Tuesday threatened to consume poison before the Forest Department office if the authorities cannot prevent elephants from entering their agricultural fields.
 
Elephant Menace: Farmers threaten to commit suicide in K'taka

Mysuru, April 26 (IANS) The residents of Maduvinahalli village near Nanjangud town in Karnataka's Mysuru district on Tuesday threatened to consume poison before the Forest Department office if the authorities cannot prevent elephants from entering their agricultural fields.

The wall with iron pillars constructed to prevent elephants and wild animals from straying into the village has collapsed. The work taken up to reconstruct the wall is incomplete, paving the way for elephants to come into the village and create havoc, the villagers claimed.

"We escaped the attack by the elephants by a whisker. Since the last three days, the elephants have destroyed banana and coconut trees. I am left with nothing. The forest officers come to the village, get forms filled by us and then disappear.

"At the end, they will give us compensation of Rs 500 or Rs 1,000 after we lose our entire crop. If the elephant menace is not stopped, I will go to the Forest department office with a bottle poison and consume it. I will end my life there," said Sheshappa, an aggrieved farmer.

"The elephants are coming to our fields in herds as the wall is broken. We have taken loans to grow the crop. Everything has been destroyed. The moneylenders will come to our houses and humiliate our families. The Forest Department should take some action to prevent elephants from straying into agricultural fields. It is better to die than get humiliated by money lenders in front of other villagers," rued Shivarajamma.

In another incident, the villagers of Penjalli near Hunsur town in Mysuru district have demanded a permanent solution to elephant menace. Two elephants which surfaced in the village on Tuesday morning created panic among the villagers.

The forest department officials were later successful in forcing the elephants back to the forest. Though the villagers heaved a sigh of relief, they were worried that they don't know when the elephants will enter their village again.

--IANS

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