Spate of wild animal attacks triggers protest in Boniyar

Residents protesting against the spate of animal attacks in Boniyar area of North Kashmir’s Baramulla district. — Excelsior / Aabid Nabi
Residents protesting against the spate of animal attacks in Boniyar area of North Kashmir’s Baramulla district. — Excelsior / Aabid Nabi

Excelsior Correspondent

Srinagar, June 14: Residents of Boniyar today protested against the wildlife department for failing to curb a spate of animal assaults in this frontier area of North Kashmir’s Baramulla district, which has resulted in three deaths in last few days.
The residents held a massive protest in the area this morning after a 10-year-old girl was found mauled to death by a wild animal. The protestors blocked the Srinagar-Uri road for several hours and shouted slogans against the Wildlife Department for failing to contain the animal.
“The animal has killed three people in the area and the Wildlife Department is unmoved. We would not have lost three precious lives if they had treated the problem seriously,” a protestor said.
Protesters believe the department has released these animals into nearby forests since native animals have never harmed them before. “I believe these creatures were brought in from somewhere else and then released here. The animals that live in the neighboring woods have never done any harm to the people who live here,” another local said.
The Chief Wildlife Warden, Harvinder Singh, said in a statement that the animal has turned into a man-eater, and there is a fear that the problem animal will cause more deaths in the neighborhood. “Keeping in view of the circumstances, I award permission in favour of the Wildlife Warden, North Division, Kashmir to hunt or cause the said animal to be hunted promptly after completing the requirements,” the statement said.
While giving details about the incidents, it stated that the man-eater leopard lifted two minor boys from the area in the last two days. “On the 11th of June, one minor boy was lifted from Gatti Kalsum Choolan Boolynr in Uri, Baramulla around 08:30 PM, and on the 12th of June, another boy was lifted from Ganie Mohallah Trakanjan Boniynr at around 06:30 PM,” it stated.
It further said that while the first child’s body was discovered the same day, the body of the second minor was discovered around 7:30 a.m. on June 13th in the adjoining wooded region.
Deputy Commissioner of Baramulla, Syed Sehrish Asgar, today directed the concerned authorities to capture or eliminate the man-eating leopard by mobilising all the available resources.
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 in order to avert any further untoward incident.
The DC directed to seek assistance from the military/paramilitary forces, if required, and ensure that the predator is controlled within the shortest possible time. She said that higher authorities had granted the necessary permission to hunt the leopard. The DC further reiterated that the safety of precious human lives viz-a-viz protection of wildlife resources is the utmost priority of the district administration for which every possible initiative and endeavor shall be explored.