Dehradun, June 12: To avenge the death of a 7-year-old boy by a leopard, villagers in Harinagari area of Uttarakhand's Bageshwar district set the entire forest on fire. The incident was reported on Monday evening. The slain boy's half-eaten body was found 250 metres away from the house.
RK Singh, divisional forest officer (DFO) of Bageshwar, said this is the second incident of man-eating by same leopard reported in the region. The predator had earlier hunted down a 4-year-old child in March this year.
The assessment of damages caused in the forest fire could not be ascertained yet, said Singh, adding that a mob of nearly 1,000 men prevented the forest department officials from reaching the spot.
The angry villagers have demanded immediate compensation for the deceased's family, along with the leopard being shot to death.
Singh said preliminary inquiry has revealed that the boy had stepped out of his house to urinate, when he was attacked by the leopard. His mother, at the time, was cooking inside the house. On hearing her child's cry, she rushed out. However, the leopard had by then dragged the boy in the woods.
As per the procedure, the DFO claimed, boy's family is entitled for a compensation of Rs 3 lakh, after the due process is completed. On the demand of gunning down the leopard, Singh said the forest department will need the permission to tag the leopard as a 'man-easter' before eliminating it.