Ritesh Mishra
Hindustan Times, Raipur

Image for representation.



Nightmare of Babulal, a resident of Chattisgarh’s Pusla village, began on Sunday evening when he was loading paddy near his field and heard about a sloth bear attack in the jungle. Babulal never thought that it could be the worst day of his life.

Four people, including two women, were killed and two others were injured in a sloth bear attack in Koriya district of Surguja division in Chhattisgarh, officials said on Monday.

Six villagers, including Babulal, were returning from a nearby jungle on Sunday evening when they heard of a bear attack inside the jungle. Babulal and two others rushed to save them.

Narrating the incident, Babulal said, “At around 3.30 pm, some people from the village started shouting about the bear attack. I, along with other two, decided to enter into the jungle to help them. The person who was walking in front of me, Phool Sai, was attacked by the bear when we entered the forest. I saw that he collapsed on the ground and was seriously injured in the attack. Subsequently, I started running back and climbed a tree while the third person escaped by running towards the village.”

After the bear killed Phool Sai, the animal tried to climb the tree which Babulal had climbed but was unsuccessful because the tree was too small for it to climb.

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“I climbed the tree at around 4 pm and the saw that the bear was roaming around the tree waiting for me to come down. I tied myself with an ‘Angaucha’ (a towel) to the trunk of the tree and waited for help. After five hours, at around 9 pm, the rescue team came and then I came down with the help of a JCB machine,” said Babulal.

Inspector-General of Police, Surguja range, Ratanlal Dangi said that a group of six local tribals of Angwahi village were returning home after collecting forest produce from the jungle when a bear attacked them.

“Three of them were killed in the first attack while one, who went for help, was later attacked and killed. We got information and launched a rescue operation inside the jungle. During the rescue operations, four bodies were recovered and the rescue team managed to save a person who climbed a tree. Three others who were injured in the attack were also rescued by the team,” Dangi told HT.

The deceased were identified as Phool Sai, Ijaoria Sai, Rajkumari Sai and Shivachan Sai.

“The bear was roaming around the area and the rescue team managed to shoo it away in the jungle at around 1 am. The injured were admitted to a government hospital,” said the IG.