Women lose cool, grab forest official by collar in Uttarakhand

Dehradun: With frustration against the babudom in the state only increasing over the years because of their inefficiency and lethargy towards the people’s immediate needs, it was only waiting to happen.Women lose cool, grab forest official by collar in Uttarakhand

Women living in the villages in the immediate vicinity of the Corbett Tiger Reserve in Ramnagar in Kumaon of Uttarakhand, armed with scythes and sticks literally stormed into the residence of the director and went berserk damaging it to some extent.

Not only this the park warden, Satish Kumar Upadhaya was accosted by the agitated women folk, who literally grabbed him by his collar and put a scythe round his neck. The warden somehow managed to break free and literally had to run for cover to escape their wrath.

Its all due to a leopard that has been active in the region for the over last six months attacking women and children. On Wednesday, the feline attacked yet another woman, Vimla Devi of Bastila village, resulting in the women losing their patience and with that their anger surfaced in its worst form.

The agitated women numbering in hundreds who collected from the villages in and around the Tiger Reserve area made it clear to the authorities that they had been running from pillar to post demanding that the leopard either be killed or tranquilized and shifted to some zoo, but no one seemed to be concerned, as the feline continued to attack women and children making it unsafe for them to venture out.

They made it clear that if the Tiger Reserve authorities failed to take any decisive action against the leopard and get rid of it in the next 24 hours, they would be forced to resort to a severe agitation against authorities and take up the matter at the highest level with the state government.

Residents claimed that initially the feline was attacking and killing animals, but they bore their cattle being killed and did not take any unwarranted step, but now it was attacking women, who were feeling unsafe and dreading the very thought of going to the forests to collect fuel wood and fodder for the cattle.

Meanwhile the Tiger Reserve authorities claimed that they had made efforts to trap the leopard in the past but the feline was clever and moved away from the place of attack or kill to another habitat, which made trapping all that difficult.

They said that it had been decided to set up traps at various villages in the vicinity where the feline is said to be on the prowl and attacking women and after tranquilizing it, will release it in some other pocket of the forest, away from habitation.

A journalist with over 40 years of experience, Jagdish Bhatt is Editor Hill Post (Uttarakhand). Jagdish has worked with India's leading English dailies, which include Times of India, Indian Express, Pioneer and several other reputed publications. A highly acclaimed journalist, Jagdish is a recipient of many awards, latest being the 2011 Development Journalism Award. He lives in Dehra Dun.

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