The movement of elephants along the border has created tension in the Kuppam divison in the past.
An uneasy calm has gripped scores of villages along the Tamil Nadu-Kuppam division border after two villagers were killed in an attack by wild elephants in the Chintamakulapalle village of Krishnagiri district, 35km from Kuppam on Friday. After the tragic incident, the wild elephants, said to be more than 50 in number, split into two or three herds, and are believed to be moving in the direction of Kuppam and Gudupalle mandals of Chittoor district.
According to sources, the jumbo herds had moved into Krishnagiri from Hosur division a couple of days ago. While on their way towards the Kuppam border, the herds came across two farmers in a groundnut field, and trampled them to death. The temporary strategies to drive away the elephants by irate mobs resulted in the herds splitting into two or three and this made their movements uncertain.
In the past, whenever elephants from Hosur created tension at the agrarian front in Tamil Nadu, its impact had always been felt in the Kuppam division. “During the last one decade, several wild elephants had moved into Kuppam after striking the crops in Tamil Nadu villages. However, their number used to be small, say three or five. Our forest officials also could manage them without much effort. This time, our counterparts in Tamil Nadu cautioned us that the wild elephants are marching towards Kuppam through the Maharaja Kadai forests,” a vegetable farmer from Kuppam said.
Meanwhile, the forest officials of both Krishnagiri of Tamil Nadu and Kuppam range in Chittoor district have kept the forest watchers and elephant trackers on alert, as the herds have been seen crossing the rural roads.
Divisional Forest Officer (Chittoor West) S. Ravi Shankar said the elephant trackers were deployed to monitor the situation along the border villages. The farmers in Kuppam and Gudupalle mandals close to the Maharaja Kadai forests were cautioned to abandon night vigils and the public at the forest fringe areas were warned to not move alone, but in groups, besides temporarily avoiding wearing of white robes.
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