Boko, Dec 11 A two-year-old girl was killed and her mother injured during a firing by forest department personnel to chase a herd of wild elephants that also wounded another person in Assam's Kamrup Rural district, police said on Friday.
Personnel of the department were engaged in driving away a herd of wild elephants creating havoc for the past several days from Bondapara in Boko area and a bullet accidentally hit the child and her mother who were sitting outside their house on Thursday night, police said.
The baby was on her mother's lap.
The forest guards rushed the two to a hospital in Boko where the child was declared dead and the mother was shifted to the Gauhati Medical College Hospital (GMCH) in a serious condition.
Meanwhile, the elephants attacked a farmer injuring him and he was also referred to the GMCH. Angry locals blocked National Highway 17 on Friday to protest against the death of the child and urged the government to take measures to stop destruction of crops by wild elephants.
Environment and Forest Minister Parimal Suklabaidya told PTI in Guwahati that a high-level team of forest officials have been sent to the area to ascertain the details leading to the death of the child and review the prevailing situation there.
"The incident is unfortunate and tragic. The loss of the child can in no way be compensated but I have directed the authorities to immediately release the ex-gratia amount to the bereaved family," the minister added.