Udaipur : A leopard died after it was tranquilized by forest officials in Parsad forest range of Udaipur on Wednesday afternoon. Followed by a violent protest by locals on Tuesday night, the state government had issued order to shoot the ‘man-eater leopard’ that had mauled three people in three weeks in the area. However, wild life authorities said it can not be confirmed till lab reports establish that whether the wild cat which died was the same one that had mauled three persons and if it had actually turned into a man-eater.
“The leopard was only tranquilized, it was not shot dead. However, the reason for its death would only be known once we get the post mortem report. Whether the cat had turned a maneater would also be known after the detailed investigation” CCF RamKaran Khairwa told Udaipur Kiran. Meanwhile, the local police station has registered a case against unidentified people for causing highway jam, destruction of public property and attacking the policemen on duty, Udaipur SP Kailashchandra Bishnoi said.
The forest department had been tracing the leopard that had mauled as many as three people to death in the past three weeks. On Tuesday evening villagers of Paduna, Barapal, Chanavda and adjoining areas had went on a rampage after a 13 year old girl was dragged away and killed by the leopard. The tribals refused to let the police shift the girl’s body to hospital and were adamant that they would only allow to permit the proceedings once the leopard is shot down. The locals jammed the Udaipur-Ahmedabad national highway for some eight long hours causing a massive jam at both ends. Commuters suffered for hours until the police diverted traffic through other routes.
An additional SP and three circle inspectors along with other cops were injured as villagers pelted stones, torched police vehicles. Sensing the situation, permission was granted late night by the higher authorities from Jaipur to shoot the leopard if it was not possible to tranquilize it. The letter said that since the relocation of the big cat was not possible, hence it may be shot dead , though the priority was for tranquilizing it. People cleared the highway past 2.30 am only after they were assured by the collector that the leopard would be caught soon. As per forest officials, this leopard was continuously evading the efforts of their team to trap it.
On wednesday the leopard was spotted around the same place where it had mauled the little girl a day ago. Taking no chance, the expert tranquilized the beast however, the team which carried it down from the hillock , found the animal dead. Authorities were tight lipped on the reason behind the leopard’s death whether it had died of overdose of the medicine.