Baikunthpur (District Koriya, Chhattisgarh): When the efforts of the Chhattisgarh forest department to control elephants ruining crops and destroying property in villages of the district failed, a minister in the state government decided to step in.
Labour minister Bhaiyalal Rajwade performed a longish puja at Matijharia here on Thursday to propitiate the pachyderms. A Pandit was especially summoned from Ambikapur by the forest department for the purpose. A string of rituals was performed, with the minister playing ‘yajman’. After the puja, the minister revealed that the elephants were, in fact, Lord Ganesha and announced that now they will stop troubling the villagers. “They will be calmed down,” he said.
Akhilesh Mishra, the ranger of the Baikunthpur Range of the forest department was in complete agreement with the minister. “Yes, it will have an impact. A similar puja was performed in Surguja and now the elephants there are not coming out of the forests,” he said.
Elephants have been creating a havoc in the area for the past two weeks. On Tuesday, they razed several houses in the Gelhapani village near Chirmiri. They emerge out of forests in the night in big herds and trample upon the crops. The terrorised villagers are patrolling the area in groups all through the night to protect themselves from the rampaging elephants.
[box type=”info” align=”” class=”” width=””]Wild elephants have emerged as big menace in Chhattisgarh. They have killed over 200 persons in the state in the past two years[/box].