The administration in southern Anantnag district has ordered the killing of a leopard involved in the killing of three girls in the hilly region of Achabal.
Seven professional hunters of the area and police have been asked to look for the leopard and kill her.
"We have issued ammunition (12-bore cartridges) to seven professional hunters who have licensed guns to work along with police to spot and kill the leopard," Abdul Rasheed Dar, additional deputy commissioner told the Hindustan Times.
The leopard has caused scare in the area by killing three girls in the past five days. The department of Wild-Life has warned the residents of over a dozen villages over a radius of 15 km around Panchalthan hills of leopard attacks and has asked them to take extra-care while moving out of their houses.
The warning came in a radio broadcast by the chief warden Farooq Geelani. The residents have been asked to move out of their houses in groups and let not their children venture out in odd hours.
The administration woke up to the threat by the wild animals after a leopard killed and took away the body of a 10-year old girl Rayeesa daughter of Ghulam Hassan Mir of Halkha near Shangus on Saturday.
This was the third such incident in the area in the past five days. Earlier a leopard swooped on Panchalthan village and killed a 7-year old girl Beauty Jan. A 10-year old boy was killed by a leopard at Utrusoo village in the same area on Wednesday.
The authorities believe that all the three killings have been carried out by the same leopard.
Hundreds of residents today held protest demonstrations against government’s inaction and its failure to protect them form wild animals. The residents said that they could have killed the leopard the very first day it appeared in the residential area but did not due to fear of police action against them.
“We know what police did in Tral, last month, where residents had killed a black bear”, said the agitated residents. Police arrested four persons and booked them for killing a black bear.
The black bear had attacked and injured a 70-year old resident—Abdul Gani Rather—of Shariefabad village, who later died in the hospital. Incidentally, one of the four persons booked for killing the black bear included the son of the slain resident.
There had been number of incidents of wild bears appearing in populated areas in many parts of Kupwara, Baramullah, Anantnag and Pulwama in the past three months. As many as eight persons including a minor child have been killed and over 30 wounded in the attacks by them on residents.
Wildlife officials say that there had been a substantial increase in wild animal population in Jammu and Kashmir as poaching and hunting has stopped in Kashmir with the rise of terrorism.
They say that the human interference in the wild animal habitat has also increased and many forested areas have been denuded, which force the wild animals to stray into villages.
They say that many areas, where wild animal usually inhabit are covered under snow and these animals come down to residential areas in search of food.