Baramulla, Jun 14: In the third such incident within few days, a 12-year-old girl was mauled to death by a man-eater leopard in Boniyar area of Uri in Baramulla district, officials said on Tuesday.
The officials said that the victim identified as Rutba Manzoor daughter of Manzoor Ahmad Bhat was playing outside her home when a man-eater wild animal attacked her and dragged her for about half-a-kilometre towards the forest.
They said that on receiving information, police, wildlife teams and locals swung into action and launched a massive search operation to trace the girl and her body was found in a nearby forest area.
There has been a widespread outrage in Baramulla over these incidents in which lives of three young children were lost in last few days. On Monday 12-year-old Shahid Ahmad son of Abdul Jabbar Ganai of Boniyar was mauled to death by a wild animal when he had taken his cattle for grazing to a nearby forest area. Earlier, a 12-year-old boy was killed after being attacked by a wild animal in the same area on Saturday.
Soon after today’s fresh incident, locals and families of trio victims staged a protest demonstration and blocked Srinagar-Muzaffarabad highway at Uri town.
The protesters alleged that the administration is silent and no concrete steps have been taken so far to tackle the threat of wild animals. Shouting slogans against the Wildlife Department, leopards have been seen roaming in the residential area for quite some time but no steps were taken by wildlife officials to ensure safety of the locals.
Acting swiftly to ensure the safety and security of human lives after three man- wildlife conflict incidents were reported in Uri Sub- division, the Deputy Commissioner (DC) Baramulla, Dr Syed Sehrish Asgar Tuesday directed the concerned authorities to capture or eliminate the man eater leopard by mobilizing all the available resource.
Dr. Sehrish issued these directions during a meeting convened in her office chamber with the concerned stakeholders in order to discuss the immediate and necessary action plan to hunt the man eater leopard for averting further any kind of untoward incident.
It is worth here to mention that three children were killed by the man eater leopard in Boniyar area of the district which created a fear psychosis and panic among the people.
Emphasizing upon the concerned authorities to work in coordination and cohesion, the DC directed to take assistance of military/ paramilitary forces, if required, and ensure that the predator is controlled within the shortest possible time. She said that necessary permission for hunting the leopard has been granted by the higher authorities.
The DC further reiterated that safety of precious human lives viz-a-viz protection of wildlife resources is the utmost priority of District Administration for which every possible initiative and endeavour shall be explored.
Meanwhile, SDM Uri issued a series of guidelines in the form of Dos and Don’ts and appealed to the general public to adopt these advisories for their protection. He advised people not to let their children go to forests alone and unnecessarily.
Furthermore, he urged people to remain cautious and take care of their children with keen and utmost responsibility.