Monday, 11 December 2017

Indian police use elephants to evict illegal settlers

Animals were used in protected forest area in Assam, where authorities want to demolish about 1,000 bamboo and tin huts

Michael Safi and agencies
Monday 27 November 2017 15.04 GMTLast modified on Wednesday 29 November 2017 12.16 GMT

Indian police have taken the unusual step of using elephants in an attempt to evict hundreds of people living illegally in a protected forest area in the country’s remote north-east.

Local people hurled rocks at police who used bulldozers and the elephants in a show of force in Amchang wildlife sanctuary in Assam state.

The police commissioner, Hiren Nath, said five protesters were injured in a scuffle after officers deployed teargas to disperse them.

Authorities plan to demolish about 1,000 bamboo and tin huts.

The state forest minister, Pramila Brahma, said the area was an elephant habitat and the unauthorised settlements were forcing the animals to leave in search of food. There have been many incidents in which wild elephants have killed people and destroyed crops after entering villages.

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