Jhapa, November 18
Forty people have lost their lives due to electric fence meant to ward off wild elephants in Jhapa in the past nine years. Some 11 wild elephants have also perished.
Lately, amidst the fear of elephant attacks, electric fence is being erected indiscriminately in different places in the district. “As the fence meant to save lives has been the cause of people’s death one after another, it has worried us,” Division Forest Office Jhapa Chief Bishnulal Ghmire said, adding, “Some forty people have lost their lives and 11 elephants have died due to the fences in nine years.”
According to Ghimire, two persons died in a single incident in the district due to the fence on November 2.
The deceased are Anish Rai, 18, and his uncle Maniraj Rai, 35, of Buddhashanti Rural Municipality. They died from electrocution in Buddhashanti RM-4.
Just yesterday, 57-year-old Buddhimaya Tamang of Mechinagar-9 died from electrocution after she accidentally touched the electric fence set up to chase elephants. “She was electrocuted as she happened to come in contact with the fence while grazing cattle,” said SP Mahendra Shrestha of the DPO Jhapa. Likewise, Sixty-year-old Ganga Thapaliya of Mechinagar-9 also died from electrocution in August.
This year itself, three wild elephants died due to an electric fence set up in Ranakali Community Forest in Haldibari-3, in July.
While prior to that, one female elephant died from electrocution on the border of Jhapa and Ilam, other elephants also died in the past due to such fences.
A version of this article appears in print on November 19, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.