A 19-year-old student was trampled to death by an elephant at Cherampadi near Pandalur, police said. A friend of the deceased is critically injured in the incident, they said.

Shafi and Shanu were returning to their room on a motorcycle around 10.30 PM Friday night after buying some items when the pachyderm suddenly appeared from behind some thick bushes and attacked them, they said.

Hearing their screams, people at a nearby bus stand rushed to the spot and found them lying in pool of blood, police said. The two were immediately taken to the Medical College Hospital in Kozhikode in neighbouring Kerala.

Shafi succumbed to injuries and Shanu is admitted to a hospital in Vythiri in a critical condition, they said.

Protesting against the incident, nearly 150 shopkeepers in Cherampady and nearby areas downed their shutters and demanded the Forest department take action to end increasing elephant menace, leading to death of humans.

Three persons have been trampled to death in the past 15 days by elephants in and around Pandalur.