Leopard killed, mutilated

Jorhat, Feb. 8: The killing of leopards continued in the state with a big cat being killed today, the third this year, in a village under Chabua police station in Dibrugarh district.

A mob also mutilated the carcass of the male adult leopard.

It is the second such incident this year in Upper Assam after a leopard was killed and its body parts cut away by local people last month at Oguri Shyamgaon under Sonari police station in the Borhat forest range of Sivasagar forest division.

On Tuesday, villagers a lynched a full-grown leopard at Bishondoi village in Dhubri district in lower Assam after the big cat attacked three persons.

According to police department sources, the male adult leopard was lynched this morning at Deodhai village after the animal strayed into the vegetable garden of the house of a resident and attacked a youth.

Sources said around 8.30am, the leopard had entered the backyard vegetable garden of Ananta Gogoi's house and suddenly came-face-to face with Ananta and jumped on him.

As Ananta struggled to free himself from the grip of the big cat, he raised an alarm to which villagers responded and attacked the leopard with sharp weapons like machetes, axes and sticks to free the youth. The animal was killed in the process.

Later, the carcass was brought to the field of a lower primary school where a section of the crowd cut the tail, left foreleg and nails of the animal. Ananta, who received few injuries on his hands and neck, is undergoing treatment at the Chabua central hospital and is out of danger.

Officer-in-charge of Chabua police station, Rajib Kumar Saikia, told this correspondent over the phone that the incident happened before policemen and forest staff could reach the village. Saikia said an investigation was on to verify the claims of the local people that the leopard was attacked to save the youth.

The official said action would be taken according to the provision of the law with the forest department expected to lodge an FIR. Divisional forest officer (Dibrugarh), D. Bharali, told The Telegraph that the department, too, was conducting its investigation into the incident and will be lodging an FIR with the police.

Bharali said on the basis of the investigation action will be taken against those who have mutilated the carcass and those who have killed the animal, if intentionally. He said the carcass has been brought to the Dibrugarh veterinary hospital from the village for post-mortem.

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