The traumatic incidents of leopard attacks on the inhabitants of Uttarakhand, particularly the women under the jurisdiction of Pauri Garhwal district are on the rise and the government of the state, particularly the forest department has literally failed to either to capture these wild man eater cats who’d let loose their reign of terror in the himalayan state of Uttarakhand or kill them as humans are moreimportant than anything else.
Just a day or two ago in GAGVADSIUN PATTI of Pauri Garhwal district a leopard had literally attacked a women and grabbed her from the back through its bloody thorny pawns making deep wounds in the morning hours when she alongwith her friends have gone to the nearby forest to collect fodder for cows and buffaloes.
After her women co mates who had also accompanied the injured in the nearby jungle for cutting the grass for the pet animals created furore and loud noise, did the leopard apprehensively, left the injured woman’s grip and fled leaving behind the highly terrified victim in utter shock and anguish, completely bleeding in pain with a wound measuring an inch or so.
The woman was lucky enough that she could protect herself after the commotion created by her friends and companions. GAGVARSIUN PATTI is just near the main Pauri township and the woman belonged to the Kehar village. There is a cohesive jungle in this area and leopards sighting during nights in particular is a common phenomena. Just a weak ago a leopard has entered a village cowshed in one of the villages’ of Kapolsiun patti in Kaljikhal block of Pauri Garhwal and had made few pets its food, injuring several others before fleeing.
Last month one of the leopards’ entered a house in Debradun city and was there for several hours creating havoc. There was panic all around. The police reached the scene in time but it took about four hours for the forest staff to reach the spot and that too without a tranquilising gun.
The person concerned possesing the tranquilising gun was in Haridwar. It was the good luck of the local populace that nobody was injured. However, the leopard later on ran away leaving everybody highly relieved. Similarly, in addition to several other such incidents, in October 2016, two women were seriously injured in a leopard attack in Almora district of Uttarakhand.
The incident happened at Pilkha village in Hawalabagh block of Almora. Victims Puja Devi, 22, and Uma Devi, 34, had gone to a forest for fodder when they were attacked by the leopard. Other women raised the alarm following which the leopard ran away but by then the beast had severely injured the two. Both were admitted to the district hospital where there condition is stated to be serious.
The forest officials, who rushed to the site of incident, later visited the hospital and handed over immediate assistance of Rs 5,000 each to families of both women. Villagers appealed to the forest officials for a prompt action to nab these man eaters.
Uttarakhand these days is in the severe grip of these freely roaming leopards who have become a grave threat to the lives of the women, children and the senior citizens who can’t ever feel secured during the day time.
The government of the day should do something credible to bring this critical situation under control. Saving of wild life is important but not at the cost of human lives should be the basic mantra of the government.
SUNIL NEGI, PRESIDENT, UTTARAKHAND JOURNALISTS FORUM