DHEMAJI, Sept 15 - A herd of six wild elephants from the Sissi reserve forest under the Dhemaji territorial forest division destroyed four houses at Kerkoni village in Silapathar Police Station area in the last three days.
The herd entered the village in the early house of September 12 and demolished Jadu Hazarika�s house. The elephants again entered the village on Friday morning and destroyed three houses of Nitumoni Chutiya, Swadip Siang and Biju Singh. The tuskers also chased the family members but they managed to escape.
Adding to the woes of the villagers, the elephants also ate pre-harvest crops in the paddy fields in the flood-affected areas. The villagers have demanded that the forest department assess the loss and initiate proper compensation to the farmers.
Forest personnel led by Sissi Range Officer Phonidhar Borgohain visited the spot, met the victims and took stock of the situation. The forest department officials also gave fire crackers to the villagers in order to drive wild elephants away.
Borgohain said they collected evidence regarding the demolition of houses by the elephants and have sent the report to the authorities for compensation.
�The man-elephant conflict is showing an increasing trend in the area due to gradual destruction of elephant habitats and food crisis in the forests. We have formed an anti-depredation committee to look into the cases of man-animal conflicts,� the range officer said.
According to forest officials, the elephants come from the Dibru Saikhowa National Park across the mighty Brahmaputra river and roam around in the area in search of food during the monsoon season. There is an elephant corridor linking the reserve forests in Jonai in Assam and wildlife sanctuaries in Arunachal Pradesh.