Chikkamagaluru, Nov 8 (PTI) A 29-year-old woman plantation worker was trampled to death by a wild elephant near Hedadalu in this district on Wednesday, officials said.
Meena and her fellow workers were on their way to a coffee estate when the incident took place. Suddenly, as they got near the estate, they encountered a wild elephant. While other workers managed to escape, she was attacked by the tusker.
Meena sustained serious injuries and died.
Following the incident, the locals protested with her body and refused to hand it over to officials for post-mortem unless the MLA came to the spot.
This led to a heated argument between protesters and the officials. Later, a large number of people gathered near the spot and blocked the highway connecting Sringeri and Chikkamagaluru for nearly an hour.
A herd of five wild elephants had recently come to the area from Sakleshpur in the neighbouring Hassan district and later, they were joined by two more elephants. One of them attacked the woman and she lost her life.
Efforts were made to drive these wild elephants to Muthodi forest range and the situation is being constantly monitored by the forest officials, a senior forest officer said.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who was in Mudigere in the district to attend the funeral of veteran Karnataka politician D B Chandre Gowda who passed away on Tuesday, condoled the death of Meena and instructed the officials to immediately issue the compensation cheque of Rs 15 lakh to her family.
Siddaramaiah held an emergency meeting with the Deputy Commissioner, Superintendent of Police and senior officials of the Forest Department in Mudigere.
He has given a "clear instruction" to the district administration to immediately take necessary action to send the jumbos back to the forest, a statement from CM's office said.
The CM spoke to the protesters over the phone who refused to hand over Meena's body and said instructions have been given to take all necessary measures to prevent elephant attacks.
Responding to the insistence of some locals and protesters that the wild elephants should be shot and killed, the Chief Minister sought to calm them down and asked them "not think to that extent" and instructed the officials to take other effective measures. PTI AMP RS ROH