Two wild elephants died on the spot after being hit by the speeding intercity express on 27th February, 2014 in Mariani of Jorhat district. The incident took place near the Nakachari railway station at wee hours when two among the elephants herd tried to cross the railway track to the other part of the Dishoi Tea Garden that falls within the Gibbon sanctuary.
Incidentally the spot where the accident took place is a known elephant corridor and instructions have been issued from the North Eastern Frontier Railway to the operating drivers about maintaining a minimal speed while passing through the Gibbon sanctuary up till the last point from where they can resume a higher speed. Despite these standing instructions how the two elephants lost their lives is a matter of grave concern.
It has been learnt that the herd dispersed in another direction after the incident but people have witnessed another elephant that was seriously injured vanish into the garden and is missing since. The whereabouts still to be traced. The place of the incident saw an unprecedented convergence of people who were grief stricken and offered flowers while touching the dead elephants as a mark of respect. This gesture is symbolic since our readers are aware that in Assam elephant-human conflict is on an all time high and various incidents of people chasing these elephants most violently have come to the light from time to time and with casualties reported from both sides. But tragic incidents like these make people depressed especially seeing the majestic animal lost their lives which has since time been a friend of mankind while domesticated and a foe while in wilderness.
Later the animals were buried in the outer reaches of the tea garden.
Aamir Hazarika served as Staff Reporter in Times of Assam. Hazarika is an investigative Journalist for more than a decade.