Woman dies in elephant attack, villagers protest
COIMBATORE: The death of a 56-year-old woman in elephant attack in the Nilgiris on Saturday night triggered protests by fellow villagers, who demanded officials to capture the animal, which they identified as ‘Arisi Raja’.
The deceased, identified as Pappathi, a daily wager, was residing with her brother Ramalingam (65) and his wife Sundarambal at Devala in Gudalur taluk. She was unmarried.
Around 9.30 pm on Saturday, an elephant that was part of a larger herd damaged their house in search of food. Police said Pappathi got trapped while attempting to flee away as a portion of a wall collapsed on her. The elephant then attacked her, killing her on the spot, while the other two, Ramalingam and Sundarambal, managed to escape with minor injuries.
As the news of the incident spread, the villagers gathered at the spot and chased away the wild elephant.
Enraged by the death of the woman, the villagers refused to allow police, forest and revenue department officials from taking her body for post-mortem examination. They identified the elephant involved in frequent intrusions and attacks as ‘Arisi Raja’ and sought a permanent solution by capturing it.
The people finally withdrew the protest past midnight after senior officials of the Revenue Department arrived at the spot and assured that the elephant would be captured. The body of the deceased was then sent to Ooty Government Hospital for autopsy.