A leopard, which killed an 8-year-old girl, was allegedly burnt alive by angry villagers after it was captured by forest officials in Surat district.
Gujarat Forest Department is probing the incident that occurred on Thursday at Vadi village in Umarpada tehsil.
The leopard was trapped on Wednesday night. The villagers set the animal on fire inside the cage the next day, said an official.
“Investigation has revealed that some villagers who were angry over the death of a girl killed by the leopard threatened forest officials who were guarding the cage, asking them to leave. Then they set the leopard ablaze,” said deputy conservator of forest J H Rathod.
The leopard killed Nikita Vasava on Wednesday morning when she when she stepped out to attend nature’s call and dragged her into the forest.
Her body was found in the village outskirts later.
Gujarat forest and tribal development minister Ganpat Vasava visited the village after the incident and announced a compensation of Rs 4 lakh for her family.
“We have registered a case under section 9 of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 (with regard to leopard’s death). To investigate the matter further, an inquiry panel with some top forest officials has been formed. The panel has been asked to submit its report in 15 days. Further action will be taken as per the findings of the report,” said Rathod.