While a compensation of Rs 5 lakh was announced for the boy’s family, forest department officials declared the leopard a man-eater and told media that a team of shooters from Almora are on their way to Bagheshwar to kill the leopard.
Man-eating leopard kills child in Uttarakhand, to be hunted |Photo Credit: BCCL
HARINAGARI: Villagers in Uttarakhand’s Bageshwar district reportedly started a forest fire on Monday evening. What is even more surprising is that the forest was set on fire in a fit of rage following the death of a seven-year-old boy who was killed by a leopard. While the leopard has been declared a man-eater, permission was sought from the state’s top forest official to “destroy the leopard” immediately after the incident on Tuesday.
Commenting on the incident, forest officials said that the boy’s half-eaten body was discovered in a nearby forest on Tuesday morning, reported The Hindustan Times. The discovery led to a crowd of close to a thousand angry villagers gathering in the village which prevented forest rangers from going into the affected area on Tuesday night. Divisional forest officer (DFO) Bageshwar, RK Singh told the national daily, “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.”
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According to foresters, the boy stepped out of his house on Monday when the leopard attacked and dragged him inside the forest. Upon hearing the boy’s screams, his mother and other villagers gathered in the village and set it on fire. DFO RK Singh confirmed that close to nine hectares of forest land were destroyed as a result of the fire.
While a compensation of Rs 5 lakh was announced for the boy’s family, forest department officials declared the leopard a man-eater after receiving permission from the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) DVS Khati. Singh also told media that a team of shooters from Almora are on their way to Bagheshwar to kill the leopard.
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