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Monkey menace claims girl in Nainital; forest dept, civic body in blame game

The municipal board said it was the duty of the forest department to control monkeys; forest officials shrugged it off, saying the accident happened in the municipal limits.

dehradun Updated: Nov 17, 2017 20:39 IST
Kamal Jagati
Kamal Jagati
Hindustan Times
Uttarakhand,Monkey menace,Nainital girl
Sakshi Rana who died of injuries she sustained in a fall while trying to escape a monkey attack in Nainital.(HT Photo)

Hours after an 11-year-old girl died of injuries she sustained while trying to escape a monkey attack, the municipal board and the forest department blamed each other over failure to check simian menace.

The board said it was the duty of the forest department to control monkeys; forest officials shrugged it off, saying the accident happened in the municipal limits.

Sakshi was playing inside her home on Thursday when she saw a monkey entering; Sakshi ran in panic and fell down, leading to her death, said her mother Hema Rana.

“Fearing the monkey, Sakshi rushed towards the stairs but lost her balance and fell. She was rushed to the local BD Pandey hospital where she was declared dead,” Hema said. Sakshi was the only sister of two brothers.

Sakshi’s father Diwan Singh Rana, a labourer, and Hema said authorities have failed to control wild animals active in the town area.

“I am sad about the death of the girl but neither I nor my department could do little,” Dharma Sing Meena, the district forest officer (DFO), told HT. “The area where the accident happened falls in the jurisdiction of the municipal board and not the forest department; therefore, the board should take care of it.”

Rohitash Sharma, the executive officer of the municipal board, shot back. “Since Nainital is surrounded by forests, the forest department should not run away from its responsibility,” he said. “It is a matter of surprise that the forest department has not done anything in such a serious incident.”

In the recent past, many incidents of monkey or street dog attacks have been reported in Nainital. In July this year, Amtulla, a girl who had come to Nainital from Rajasthan with her parents, fell into a gorge when she was chased by stray dogs; she died of head injuries.

Four years ago, a school student fell from a rooftop while escaping from a charging monkey; the boy died of the injuries.

First Published: Nov 17, 2017 20:39 IST