Srinagar- The Jammu and Kashmir wildlife department has deployed over 50 of its men including the sharp shooters to catch or kill the leopard who mauled at least three children to death in a week in the border town of Uri in North Kashmir’s Baramulla district.
Rashid Naqash, Regional Wildlife Warden Kashmir told Kashmir Observer that they will soon catch or kill the man-eating leopard and for that they have activated their men and deployed in identified spots.
“This is a coordinated operation with forest protection, J&K police and locals who are trying to catch or kill the animal,” Naqash said.
On Wednesday, Naqash and his team along with the district administration Baramulla rushed to the spot to take stock of the situation.
He said the wildlife officials have provided tranquilizers, cages, and other equipment to eliminate the leopard. He said the sharp shooters have been deployed in the area to kill the animal.
Seven-year-old Rutba Manzoor of Batangee Boniyar became the latest victim of the man-eating leopard, which is on the prowl in Uri. Rutba was mauled to death by the beast when she stepped out of her home on Tuesday.
Her death triggered protests with her angry relatives blocking the Srinagar-Uri highway against the alleged inaction by the wildlife department.
Before Rutba, 15-year-old Muneer Ahmad of Kalsan was also killed by the feline in the same area.
On Sunday night, the body of 13-year-old Shahid Ahmad was recovered from the forests of Trikanjan in Boniyar. Ahmad had been grazing his cattle when he was attacked by the big cat.
The leopard, which is suspected to be roaming the Sri forests.
Following the incident, an emergency meeting was held at the office of the Deputy Commissioner Baramulla which was attended by civil and police administration officials.
The participating members, led by DC Baramulla Sehrish Asgar, devise a joint strategy to capture or kill the beasts involved in killing the children.
Naqash told Kashmir Observer that this is an “unpredictable” animal and can strike anywhere and anytime. “..So it is important to take precaution and be aware,” he added.
Naqash said in two cases in Uri, the kids were sent to forest for grazing their cattle.
Harvinder Singh, Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM), Uri told Kashmir Observer that the families of the victims will be provided compensation of over 4 lakh rupees.
He said the train of Uri is tough and it’s difficult to locate the animal but they have deployed the men in specific areas to catch the animal.
He said over four stationery teams and one mobile team has been also deployed to track the movement of the leopard.
In the last 15 years, 230 people have lost their lives while over 2800 have been injured in the man-animal conflict across J&K. 18 people were killed and 134 injured in 2006-07. The worst years have been 2011-12 and 2013-14 when at least 28 people were killed in such conflicts.
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