Jammu, September 20
A curfew-like situation is being witnessed in many villages of mountainous Ramban and Udhampur where drones and Village Defence Guards (VDGs) are searching for a bear and a leopard which have attacked local residents in the past. Fearing more attacks, the Ramban administration ordered closure of 19 schools in different villages on Wednesday and Thursday.
Deputy Commissioner Mussarat Islam said two persons — Mohd Ameen from Sulli in Rajgarh and Parveena Begum in Kumate Kathyour — were injured in bear attack on Tuesday. Ameen was taken to the district hospital.
The DC informed that a wildlife range officer, police personnel, VDGs and local residents were inspecting the habitations in deep forest areas of Kumate, Rajgarh. The VDGs searching for bear are trained by security forces to fight terrorists. They are provided .303 and semi-automatic weapons in some cases.
In Udhampur’s Upper Banjala of Panchari block, search operation with the help of drones continued for a leopard which killed a four-year-old girl on September 2. Shoot at sight order has already been issued after the leopard was declared man-eater. Eight cages have been installed to trap it. Udhampur DC Saloni Rai had earlier informed media that the police were also providing assistance to the Wildlife Department. At least 10 villages in Panchari have been gripped by fear.
Last month, the Doda administration asked the wildlife and forest officials to take preventive measures to avoid man-animal conflict incidents that were reported from some parts of the district.
The people of Kastigarh area in Doda reported that a female bear with three cubs roaming in the area had attacked locals. The administration had directed the wildlife and forest officials and VDGs to devise a patrolling plan in the area.
234 killed in 16 years
Records show 234 people were killed and 2,918 were injured by wild animals in Kashmir province between 2006 and March 2022.
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