An 11-year-old girl was killed by a leopard in Uttarakhand’s Jaspur area in US Nagar district, said forest officials. The incident has created panic and resentment among villagers who accused the forest department of inaction despite having received complaints against the leopard.
“A leopard attacked a girl on Thursday evening in Jaspur area but the body of the girl was recovered from a field on Friday morning,” said Anand Singh Rawat, range officer of Patrampur range in Jaspur.
The victim, 11-year-old Rahat, was daughter of Farookh, a labourer from Pilibhit area of Uttar Pradesh, who works in a kiln at Dharampur-Baheri village, about 10km from Jaspur, near the UP border. He lives with his family there. Rahat was attacked and dragged by the animal while she was playing with her siblings, said Rawat.
After the incident, the Kiln owner informed the police as well as forest officials, who failed to find Rahat despite searching the area after the attack. Her body was finally recovered on Friday morning, added Rawat.
Panicked residents alleged that the leopard had been roaming in the area for a month and the forest officials had failed to take any action to get rid of the big cat despite their repeated complaints.
Kumaon has witnessed a surge in leopard attacks, especially on children. On October 12, a 7-year-old girl died in a leopard attack in Tehri Garhwal district. On October 7, another 7-year-old girl was killed in a leopard attack outside her house in Berinag division of Pithoragarh district. On October 1, a 14-year-old boy was killed in a leopard attack in Pauri Garhwal district when he took his cattle for grazing in the forest area. On September 24, an 11-year-old girl was killed in a leopard attack in Pithoragarh district when she was collecting fodder. On September 19, a 7-year-old girl was mauled to death by a leopard when she was playing near her house in Almora district.