Bengal: Madhyamik candidate dies in elephant attack on way to exam center

Arjun Das was on a bike being driven by his father when the elephant suddenly separated from its herd in Baikunthapur jungle and attacked him.

Published: 23rd February 2023 07:26 PM  |   Last Updated: 23rd February 2023 07:26 PM   |  A+A-

Elephant image used for representational purpose only. (Photo | Special Arrangement)

Elephant image used for representational purpose only. (Photo | Special Arrangement)


BAGDOGRA: A Madhyamik candidate died on Thursday, the first day of the class ten board examination, in an elephant attack at Maharajghat in West Bengal on his way to the center, police said.

Arjun Das was on a bike being driven by his father when the elephant suddenly separated from its herd in Baikunthapur jungle and attacked him.

The pachyderm dashed him to the ground and he was rushed to Jalpaiguri superspeciality hospital after the animal left the spot.

At the hospital doctors declared the student as brought dead, the police said.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who was on her way back from Meghalaya, expressed her grief over the death and urged the education department to arrange bus services for students living in forest areas and writing their board examinations. "I'm deeply saddened by this incident. I have asked the education department to provide bus services to students living in forest areas to reach their examination centres. The forest department and the police administration must also help them in this matter," she told reporters.

Banerjee said authorities in Nepal and Bangladesh have successfully implemented methods to tackle attacks by elephants but Bengal and Jharkhand are yet to find ways to handle them.

"There are several such incidents happening in Jharkhand and West Bengal and we are not able to tackle it," she said. Jalpaiguri district magistrate, Moumita Godara Basu and the mayor of Siliguri Municipal Corporation, Gautam Deb have been sent to the meet family members of the dead student, Banerjee added.

President of the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education, Ramanuj Ganguly said in Kolkata that barring Arjun, all the estimated 6,98,628 examinees wrote their first language papers, which was Bengali for most, during the day.

The examination is being held in 2,867 exam centers across the state amidst strict surveillance.

CCTV cameras were installed and sealed question papers were delivered at the centers, he said.

The Board set up control rooms at its state headquarters and district head offices where images from different centers were monitored prior to the start of the examination till the end at 3 pm.

The Madhyamik examination will continue till March 4 and the results are expected to be declared at the end of May, Ganguly added.

Asked about the reason behind the steep decline in the number of candidates from 10,98,775 last year to 6,98,628 this year, Education Minister Bratya Basu said fewer students were admitted to schools in 2013 which is nothing irregular nor abnormal.

Also there is a possibility that a section of them did not study beyond standard five.

"Next year the number will again be over 10 lakh," he added.

Basu and Ganguly had earlier attributed the drop to online classes in schools during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp