‘ Villagers told not to go inside forest for 10 days’
Udaipur : A day after a leopard mauled a woman to death in Kewde-ki-Naal forest area, panic and scare prevailed in the settlement throughout Friday. Though teams from the forest department had been stationed at three different points to trace the wild cat, residents were apprehensive and restrained themselves from moving around freely. Multiple cages and taps have been set up in the locality to catch the leopard, forest officials said.
Meanwhile, the autopsy was held in the morning and the body was claimed by the victim’s family. The postmortem report said the woman was killed by a wild animal. Some portion from the neck and breast had been eaten away partially. Ex-gratia as per the government norms was sanctioned to the deceased’s relatives. The forest department has advised the villagers not to go inside the forest for next 10 days.
Bhanwari Bai wife of Ramesh Meena was attacked and killed by the big cat when she had with a group of women gone into the forest on Thursday afternoon to collect grass for making brooms. DFO Ajay Chittora told Udaipur Kiran that it is customary for the locals specially women folk to go to the forest to cut grass for making ‘buhari jhaadu’ (brooms) around this time of the year.
“Since it was the first day of collecting grass, the women had divided themselves in three groups. Bhanwari was the fourth one in her group who was left a little behind while they were returning and the man-animal interface happened” he said. Officers who went to the spot on Friday observed the woman was dragged 200 meters inside dense bushes from the spot she was attacked.
“We have no clue about the age or size of the leopard that attacked the woman. Leopards have been living here for decades. Since in this season, it was the first day when women had gone to cut grass, the leopard wasn’t habitual of the human movement. Otherwise generally wild cats avoid prowl when they sense human activities” Chittora said.