A woman was killed today by a tusker after she went to collect firewood in a forest close to Jhargram town in West Midnapore district, forest officials said. Malati Roy (60), a resident of Uttar Bagda area of Jhargram had gone to the Bhaskarkata forest around 3 km from the district town this morning to collect firewood, when she was attacked by the tusker. "A herd of nine elephants has strayed in from the Dalma forests of Jharkhand. The herd was first spotted near Chakulia and before entering West Bengal, the elephants were at Gidhni for around 20 days along the Bengal-Jharkhand border. The aged woman was killed by one of the tuskers in the herd when she went to the forest," West Midnapore DFO Ashis Samanta said. "Steps have already been taken to monitor the movement of the herd as it is now very close to Jhargram town.
A team of forest department officials have been kept on standby and the local panchayat has been alerted so that villagers are informed about the presence of the herd and its movement. Announcements are also being made over loudspeakers to alert the residents of Jhargram town," Samanta added.