Injured in a leopard attack, a farm labourer and his friends allegedly beat up the carnivore to death with an axe and wooden sticks, tied its legs to a heavy stone and threw the carcass in a river in Gujarat’s Gir-Somnath district.
The villagers did not stop the atrocity at that and went on to retrieve the carcass from the river and burnt it, a forest official said.
Farm labourer, Bhagwan Mala, has been detained in this connection, he said, while describing the incident as “shocking”.
On Thursday, Mala had sustained a minor injury when the feline attacked him while he was working at his field in Chikhli village under Una tehsil in Gir-Somnath district.
After managing to escape, Mala asked a few of his friends to come to his field with axe and wooden sticks. The men then allegedly beat up the carnivore to death. They tied its legs to a heavy stone and threw the carcass in a river near the village, the official said.
However, after they learnt that other villagers and forest officials had apparently got a whiff of the incident, the men took out the animal’s carcass from the river and burnt it after sprinkling petrol over it on Friday, in a bid to destroy evidence of the offence.
“We detained Bhagwan Mala last night (Saturday) and are on the look out of 5-7 other persons also allegedly involved in the incident,” said the official, who is a member of the team investigating the matter.
He said the forest department will register a police case under relevant provisions of the Wildlife (Protection) Act.