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Villagers in Bageshwar burn forest after leopard kills 7-year-old boy, animal declared man-eater

Villagers in Harinagari area of Uttarakhand’s Bageshwar district set a forest on fire after a leopard killed seven-year-old boy.

india Updated: Jun 12, 2018 23:09 IST
Neeraj Santoshi
Neeraj Santoshi
Hindustan Times, Nainital
A leopard killed a seven-year-old boy in Uttarakhand.(HT File Photo/For Representation)

Angry villagers in Harinagari area of Uttarakhand’s Bageshwar district set a forest on fire Monday evening after a leopard killed seven-year-old boy.

The boy’s half-eaten body was found in the nearby forest area on Tuesday morning.

A crowd of over a thousand gathered in the village due to which the foresters could not go into the affected area during the night, forest officials said.

RK Singh, divisional forest officer (DFO) Bageshwar said Deepak, son of Diwan Ram, had stepped out of his house on Monday evening when the leopard attacked and dragged him towards the forest. He said the boy’s mother was cooking at that time when she heard Deepak’s cries. “The angry villagers later set the forest on fire and we couldn’t go into the affected area. A crowd of over a thousand people gathered in the village. They demanded immediate compensation for the family of the victim and shooting of the leopard by the forest officials,” he said.

He later told the media that eight to nine hectares of the forest land were razed in the fire and that it had been decided that the man-eater leopard would be shot.

Singh said Deepak’s family would be provided with a compensation of ₹3 lakh.

This is not the first such incident in the area this year. In March, the same leopard is suspected to have killed a four-year-old child, said Singh.

Singh said that given the fact that the leopard had killed two children this year, he immediately sought permission from the principal chief conservator of forests to declaring the leopard a man-eater.

Principal chief conservator of forests (Wildlife) DVS Khati said, given the human loss due to the leopard , he had given permission for “destroying the leopard”.

A team of shooters from Almora will soon reach Bagheshwar to kill the leopard, he said.

First Published: Jun 12, 2018 13:50 IST