RAMGARH: Scared of the elephant menace in poll-bound Ramgarh, the forest department is putting together a plan to keep close vigil on the movement of elephants to ensure safety of polling parties ahead of the bypoll on February 27.
Gola and Dulmi blocks in the district are reportedly more prone to elephant attacks. Reports of elephant movement were also reported in these areas in the recent weeks.
Ramgarh divisional forest officer (DFO) Nitish Kumar said, “Frequent movement of elephants in villages located near hills and dense forests in Gola block is a cause for concern, hence we are planning to deploy Quick Response Teams with specialised equipment to ward off tuskers.”
Polling parties will begin to move towards booths a day or two before February 27 and will again take at least a day’s time to dispatch back to the district headquarters. “Moreover, it is important to keep the areas safe so that people can venture out freely to vote without fear of elephants or other animals in the hinterlands,” he said.
Ramgarh DFO said, “We have trained locals too on the dos and donts in case of elephant sighting. We have also distributed flash lights, torches, fire crackers, kerosene oil to those in vulnerable zones. QRT will be deployed in villages for safety of polling parties and the villagers, especially at night and early morning hours.”
Returning officer for bypoll, Md Javed Hussain said, “The administration is aware of the elephant problem and will take necessary steps in coordination with the forest department.” Jaleshwar Mahto, zila parishad member from Gola block said political leaders usually avoid visiting the area for campaigning after sunset due to the elephant menace.

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