To eliminate a leopard, which has mauled two girls to death in the past three weeks in Reasi district, the government Wednesday extended its ‘Operation All Out’ by fifteen days.
Pertinently, the operation was initially sanctioned for one week.
Man-animal conflicts have become a new normal in Mahore sub-division of Reasi district, resulting in widespread outcry.
In two similar instances, a minor girl, Rahila Akhter from Mohra Hill in Shajroo village, was killed by a leopard on 23 May, while another girl, identified as Gulhad Bano from Mohra Channa Top, was reportedly mauled to death by the same animal on 6 June.
Subsequently, the Wildlife department laid a number of traps to control the wild beast’s movement, but failed.
Meanwhile, on June 7, the Chief Wildlife Warden, after receiving inputs from Wildlife Warden Rajouri-Poonch and Regional Wildlife Warden, issued an order asking authorities to kill the beast if it they are unable to capture it.
However, since the authorities failed to capture or kill the man-eater, the department was forced to extend the operation by fifteen days.
On being contacted, Wildlife Warden Rajouri-Poonch, Mushtaq Chowdhary, said that the operation has been going on in the forest area since the past eleven days.
“From 9-12 June, an extensive operation, named ‘Operation All Out’, was carried out in the forest area near Shajroo village and 120 officials were engaged in it,” he said.
“Officials from Wildlife Protection department, Forest department, Forest Protection Force, police, village defense committees and local people are involved in the operation, which will continue till the animal is traced,” he added.
He further said that police has also engaged three sharp shooters, who are known for their hunting skills.