A 16-year-old handicapped boy was mauled to death by a leopard in Madhya Pradesh’s Dewas district, police said on Saturday.
The incident took place on Friday evening in Bhattkund village under Sonkutch tehsil in the district, when the victim, Gabbar Beel was sleeping in an agricultural field outside his home, said Suresh Goyal, a sub inspector at Sonkutch police station.
The boy was sleeping outside in a field when suddenly the feline attacked him.
The leopard released the boy after his family members and villagers raised alarm and chased the big cat. The incident occurred around 10.30pm, he said.
“The boy, unable to walk, was mauled by the leopard. He sustained deep wounds on his neck and face.”
A profusely bleeding Gabbar was rushed to the hospital, where doctors declared him dead, he added.
“Since the summer season is going on, forest and police team have asked all the villagers to stay alert, particularly while sleeping outside their houses or in the fields. We had asked villagers to light a camp fire near where they (villagers) sleep,” he added.
Police registered case under Section 174 of CrPC, which also deals with deaths caused by an animal, Goyal said.
Dewas district conservator of forest Ashok Baronia said as per the government norms, the family members of the deceased will get compensation of Rs 1.5 lakh through e-payment.
The incident created panic among villagers who have demanded forest department officials to catch the leopard or shoot it at the earliest.
In the past week, leopards have attack and killed three cattle, including a sheep and two goats were in Neemuch district.
Dozens of villages are situated near the Vandar Khoda forest in the district close to the Sita Mata wildlife sanctuary neighbouring Rajasthan’s Pratapgarh district.
Jasraj, a farmer from Ghasundi Jagir village of the district said leopards on the prowl are posing a threat to human as well as livestock.
“The animals are on a killing spree and children and cattle are vulnerable to attacks. The forest department is watching as a mute spectator. Dozens of livestock have been killed and we are facing threats to our lives.”
“With the tendu leaves plucking season on, villagers fear to go in the forest,” he added.
Deputy forest ranger RS Sisodiya, who rushed to the spot with a team to take stock of the situation, said drying up water sources in the summer season and human intrusion in animal habitats were the main reasons behind the increasing number of man-animal conflicts in the area.