Mohitram Yadav, resident of Ongna village in Dharmajaigarh block of Raigarh district, Chhattisgarh, was attacked by an elephant at 3 am Wednesday while he was out answering nature's call.

After being alerted, the forest officials reached the spot, gave the family an instant relief of Rs 25,000, and told them the rest of the amount would be given post-completion of necessary formalities.

This is not the first case of elephant attack in the lush green forests of northern Chhattisgarh. Including Mohitram, at least eight people have succumbed to Jumbo-attacks, and two elephants have lost their lives due to electrocution in the Dharmajaigarh forest area alone this year.

On August 3, Sifir Kujur, 55, was attacked and killed by a rogue Jumbo in Balpeda village in the Dharamjaigarh forest area. These human-Elephant encounters are not isolated cases. It is only a matter of time for the people living in thick forested northern Chhattisgarh until they face an elephant in the open.

Over the years, with forests being cut down, increasing mining activities and other environmental lacunas have disturbed elephant habitats, forcing them to enter the human habitat.

According to the government data, in the last three years, as many as 45 elephants and 204 humans lost their lives. At the same time, over 65,000 cases of crop destruction, 5,047 cases of house destruction, and 3,151 cases of destruction of other properties have been recognised and compensated for by the state government. However, the state government, in many instances, while giving clearance for coal mining, has said that "elephants rarely come to these places".

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