Rampaging blue bull herds destroy crops in Jharkhand
Herds of 'nilgai' or blue bulls, have been rampaging through grain and vegetable fields in Palamu and nearby districts of Jharkhand depriving farmers of their livelihood.
Farmers in the Palamu district are the worst hit, as large herds of the antelopes continue to enter their fields at night, destroying their produce.
Anguished farmers blamed the animals for their troubles, saying that hundreds of acres of crops had been destroyed. They likened the nilgais to militants for the menace caused by them.
"These 'nilgais' are like militants, no one can tell when they will attack. They come in herds of 40 to 50, and destroy entire fields. How long can we live like this? If this goes on, we will be forced to abandon agriculture and become hermits," said Upender Singh, a farmer.
Singh said that the locals were in a fix because the animals were protected by law and could not be hunted down, and that the authorities had turned a deaf ear to their complaints.
"The forest department does not listen to us. We complained to the police as well, but they took no heed either. Sometimes we think we should kill them, but then we would be prosecuted," he said.
Singh said that the nilgai herds managed to damage the crops in spite of the villagers watching over their fields at night, chasing their dogs away as well.