Baby elephant found dead along Assam-Meghalaya border in Hahim, section 144 imposed for security

Baby elephant found dead along Assam-Meghalaya border in Hahim, section 144 imposed for security

The lifeless body of a wild baby elephant was discovered by locals along the Assam-Meghalaya border in the Hahim area under the Singra Forest Range Office on November 20. The discovery took place on the banks of the Singra River.

A team, including West Kamrup DFO Dimpy Bora, Kamrup District Administration, and a Boko Police team reached the site to assess the situation. DFO Dimpi Bora revealed that a team of veterinarians from Guwahati would arrive on November 21 to conduct a post-mortem examination.

The region has been struggling with a herd of wild elephants causing havoc in the Hahim area for the past week. The pachyderms have been responsible for destroying paddy fields, banana plantations, and houses in Hahim and nearby villages.

In response to the escalating human-wildlife conflict, DFO Bora announced, "A herd of wild elephants is roaming in the Hahim area, prompting the Assam state forest department and police to launch an operation tonight to drive them away from the residential area." To ensure public safety, Section 144 has been imposed in Hahim and the surrounding areas for one day.

However, local groups in Hahim have raised concerns about the possible connection between the baby elephant's death and illegal sand and gravel mining. Aschyut Rabha, President of the Hahim regional unit of the Sixth Schedule Demand Committee of Rabha Hasong Autonomous Council, alleged, "Due to the mining of sand and other materials, deep ditches have been created, and the baby elephant, along with the herd, fell into one of these ditches while attempting to drink water from the river."

Mridul Rabha, President of the Hahim unit of All Rabha Students Union, echoed similar sentiments, blaming the state forest department for negligence and accusing sand smugglers of exacerbating the situation. Rabha stated, "The herd of elephants was trying to cross the river, and the baby elephant fell into a ditch created by sand mining. Due to the negligence of the forest department, such incidents are occurring in the Hahim area."

The residents of Hahim are expressing frustration claiming that wild elephants have been causing terror in the area annually, and the Forest Beat Office in Hahim has not taken adequate measures to address the issue. This ongoing conflict between humans and elephants has resulted in the destruction of crops, public properties, and unfortunate fatalities in man-elephant conflicts.