JORHAT, Aug 3 - After the onslaught of floods last month, the people of Majuli island are now facing the menace of elephants.
A Forest department official told this newspaper that a wandering herd of jumbos, numbering about 100, is creating havoc at Salmora area of the island since the past two days and five houses have been damaged by them.
The source stated that the herd of elephants since the last 20 days have been wandering about in the island and had destroyed vegetable plantations, paddy seedlings and grain storehouses attached to famers� homes.
When contacted, the Divisional Forest Officer (Majuli) SK Thakuria, told this correspondent that the Forest department staff was trying to chase away the jumbos from the area and prevent the animals from coming near the human settlements.
The DFO said that staff were on the job round the clock, but the elephants which were in large numbers, were moving in small groups from one place to another creating problems for the Forest personnel.
He said that Forest department teams were tonight were keeping a close vigil and patrolling at Salmora area to prevent the jumbos from going on a rampage.
It may be mentioned here that last month a woman was trampled to death by the herd of elephants at Dakhinpat Kumargaon while six people of Dakhinpat Karbaityagaon were injured in an attack by the jumbos with one among them, who received serious injuries, was shifted to the Assam Medical College in Dibrugarh, for advanced treatment.
The said herd of elephants since the past almost 18 years have been moving along the Brahmaputra bank in Jorhat district and at times visiting Majuli island and its chaporis, creating havoc among the villagers.
With the herd increasing in numbers over the years, several people have been killed in the riverine areas of Jorhat mainland and also in the Majuli island.
The jumbos causes havoc comparatively more in winter when rice paddy fields are full with ripened paddy and vegetable plantations have abundant vegetables growing, a Forest department source said.