KEONJHAR: A herd of 19 elephants destroyed food grains and demolished houses in Jyotipur and Banakati villages under Champua forest range, 90 kms from the district headquarters town on Tuesday night.
The animals damaged boundary wall of Jyotipur Primary School and ate up rice stocked for mid-day meals. They then demolished the gate of Revenue Inspector’s office and raided houses of Laxman Mishra and Kuna Behera in the area. Both Laxman and Kuna informed that the elephants consumed nearly five quintals of rice stocked in their houses.
The herd then moved towards Banakati village, located near Jyotipur, where they damaged houses of Jagadish Mahanta, Ramesh Chandra Mahanta, Tulasi Mahanta and Pandav Mahanta.
Forest officials visited the villages on Wednesday and assured the panic-struck people to drive away the herd at the earliest and pay compensation for the damage. They said the elephant herd has strayed into Champua from the neighbouring Jharkhand.