Leopard mauls 4-year-old girl to death in Budgam

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Body parts found in nearby nursery; Pall of gloom descends on entire locality; Locals blame admin for poor tracing; DC suspends Range Officer for dereliction of duty, directs for immediate removal of material in nursery adjoining areas

Budgam, Jun 04 : A pall of gloom descended on Housing Colony, Ompora area of Budgam in Central Kashmir’s Budgam district on Friday after body parts of a four-year-old girl were found in a nearby nursery, who was mauled by the leopard on Thursday.

The locals of the area, however, blamed the administration for poor tracing and not cleaning the nursery in time. An official told the news agency that the Police and locals had launched a search operation after the girl, identified as Adha Shakil, aged 4, went missing last evening when she was playing outside.

The official said the Leopard pounced on the little girl on Thursday evening and took her away in the nearby dense nursery and killed her, adding that the Friday morning they found the body in a nearby plant nursery.

Meanwhile, the locals of the area raised serious allegations on district administration for poor tracing operations. They blamed the administration for turning deaf ears to the repeated alarms over the presence of Leopard in the area.

“If administration would have dealt with this situation responsibly, we would have not lost the girl,” locals said. “If the administration would have done something timely by tracing the leopards or cleaning the nursery, we might not have to see this day.” Locals said when the body parts of the girl reached her home, a pall of gloom descended on the entire locality with women beating their chest and wailing over the loss of the little angel. With moist eyes, little girl was laid to rest.

Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner (DC) Budgam, Syed Shahbaz Mirza suspended Range Officer Wildlife department Ompora for dereliction of duties in the wake of death of a 4-year-old girl. The district administration Budgam in a tweet informed that Range Officer Wildlife department has been suspended for dereliction of duties.

“DC Budgam suspends Range Officer Wildlife Deptt.Ompora for dereliction of duties in backdrop of leopard mauling 4 year old girl to death. Chairs Emergency meeting, key decisions taken in meeting to avert any further such unfortunate incidents in future,” it tweeted. Moreover, the administration in a meeting has also decided to eliminate the man-eater leopard.

A meeting was also chaired by DC Budgam with participation of Senior Superintendent of Police Budgam, divisional Forest Office Budgam and wildlife Warden, Budgam. As per the statement available with news agency KNO during the meeting following decisions were taken, DFO, PP Division Budgam will ensure immediate removal of fallen material and other cultural operations at Ompora Forests and other risk areas forthwith in order to avoid to any further loss of life and property in the area. Commissioner Secretary to Govt. Forest Ecology and Environmental J&K has assured sanction within two days. DFO , PP Division Budgam will immediately take steps for erection and strengthening of existing chain-link fencing at Ompora forests and will also submit DPR to the higher authorities for sanction of funds. He will also process the proposal/ case for sanction of thinning of the forest immediately.

“Wild life Warden Budgam will deploy staff well equipped with machinery for elimination of the Wild Animal (Leopard) which has turned man-eater after obtaining sanction from the competent authority. Wild Life Staff will be deputed in the periphery of the Ompora Forests for patrolling and awareness among the general public regarding roaming of the leopard in the area. She will take immediate steps for capturing the roaming animal in the forests. Any laxity on this score shall be dealt with strictly,” the DC told the meeting. “Wild Life Warden Budgam will immediately prepare compensation case of 04 year old girl who was mauled to death by a leopard on 03-06-2021 and get the case sanctioned from competent authority within 03 days positively so that necessary compensation is paid to family of deceased.”—(KNO)

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