An eight-year-old boy was trampled to death by an elephant at Gangarampur village in Tala upazila at around 8:00am yesterday.
The dead, Jihad, was the only son of Hasan Gazi and a class one student at Tala Al-Amin Pre-cadet School.
Prokash Dalal, a member of ward-5 of Khalilnagar union parishad, said Rabiul Islam of Kushtia hired the elephant and was on his way to Paikgachha in Khulna with it. When it got too late to travel further, he stopped at Gangarampur. After tying the elephant to a tree near a pond at the village, he stayed the night at a local's house nearby.
In the morning, Jihad went to see the elephant with many other people from around the area. All of a sudden, it grabbed the child with its trunk, threw him under its feet, and crushed him to death. Unable to save the child, the people present were shocked at the sudden incident.
Upon receiving information, police rushed to the spot and seized the elephant. However, the mahout of the elephant was on the run.
Jihad was later buried at his village without a post mortem.
Requesting anonymity, a person alleged that the elephant belonged to one Abdul Hamid Moulana of Shankarpur village in Kamalganj upazila.
Contacted, Moulana's son received the call and said that they own an elephant. However, he said he did not know whether his father rented the elephant out to anyone.
Officer-In-Charge of Tala Police Station Mehedi Russel confirmed the incident. He said the elephant was seized and attempts to arrest the caretaker was being made. However, no case was filed in this regarding.