A man was trampled to death while trying to take a selfie with a wild tusker in Odisha’s Angul district on Monday. The incident took place around 10 a.m.in Nimiribeda village.The elephant, which got separated from its herd, was moving near the village temple when Jayadev Nayak decided to take a photograph. While he was immersed in taking the selfie, the elephant closed in from behind and knocked him down before trampling him.Jayadev succumbed to his injuries while being taken to a hospital, said Chitta Ranjan Behera, Inspector of the Khamar police station.In a similar incident in September, another man was crushed to death by an elephant in Sundargarh district while taking a selfie.Herds on the move Elephant herds are attracted by paddy in the fields. Elephants have been found outside the forest limits in Mayurbhanj, Balasore, Keonjhar, Angul, Dhenknal, Khordha and Subarnapur districts.A very large herd, comprising 90-odd jumbos, is at present traversing through the Nilgiri area of Balasore district, forcing villagers to spend sleepless nights. Forest department officials have been trying to prevent the elephants from straying into human habitation.The large elephant herd had migrated from Jharkhand to West Bengal and entered Odisha a month ago.“We have set up solar fences and dug up trenches to keep the elephants in their territory,” an official said.
Chairman of the Madhya Pradesh Gau Samvardhan Board (Cow Protection Board) Swami Akhileshwaranand Giri, who was recently elevated to the rank of Cabinet Minister, has sought the formation of a ‘cow Ministry’ in the State.As per the board’s proposal to the government, the ministry can avail a part of the funds earmarked for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) works.“When Anand Mantralaya (Ministry of Happiness) can be constituted, why can’t there be a Gau Mantralaya? Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan himself keeps a cow at his residence. The Gau Samvardhan Board has prepared a proposal and conveyed it to the Chief Minister,” he said.“Currently matters related to the cow are handled by the Animal Husbandry Department. We want a ministry exclusively for the cow. The cow should be kept out of animal category,” he said.“The board has a meagre annual budget of ₹16 crore and no powers, so a separate Ministry is needed,” he said.The ministry could promote “cow-related industry,” create jobs for rural youth and conduct research in the field of cow breeding, he said. Rajasthan had set up a directorate for cows, but it too was inadequate, he opined.Funds from MGNREGA“Over 1.5 lakh cows are taken care of at 604 registered gaushalas (cow shelters) in Madhya Pradesh. Around the same number roam free on roads. The number of cows is expected to increase by 25% in the next livestock census,” he said.“The board has proposed that out of MGNREGA funds (around ₹15,000 crore for the State), ₹1,000 crore can be given to the cow ministry,” he said.
Calling for religious harmony and unity, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday participated in a Rath Yatra celebration organised here by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). The newly elected Trinamool Congress MP from Basirhat, Nusrat Jahan, joined Ms. Banerjee at the celebration. Ms. Jahan was invited to the event by ISKCON.“We celebrate all festivals in West Bengal irrespective of caste, creed or religion. Under the leadership of ‘Didi’ [Ms. Banerjee], we believe that Bengal is the seat of peace and amity,” Ms. Jahan said, addressing the gathering from the stage. The MP was accompanied by her husband Nikhil Jain.The BJP also participated in a number of Rath Yatra celebrations where party leaders Mukul Roy and Arvind Menon were present.