3 women killed: Fear-stricken villagers in Uttarakhand's Pithoragarh demand killing of leopard

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Pithoragarh (U'kand), Jan 30 (PTI) The residents of the Devalthal area in this Uttarakhand district, where three women were killed in quick succession by a leopard recently, held a demonstration on Saturday demanding the killing of the big cat.

'We are demanding the killing of the leopard and a government job for one of the three children of the woman, who became the third victim of the big cat three days ago,' Jagdish Kumar, who led the demonstration in Ramkot village, said.

According to Kumar, a former zila panchayat member from the area, the forest department is not taking the incidents seriously and has deputed only one hunter to kill the leopard.

'We have urged the DFO to depute a group of expert hunters as a single hunter will not be able to reach all the places where the leopard might be in hiding,' he said.

The villagers said panic is mounting among them as the leopard is often spotted in the area.

'We saw the leopard roaming in the area at 9 am on Saturday. We started shouting from behind our doors but failed to scare him away,' Urmila, a woman from Chaupata village, said.

Some people, who were coming to Pithoragarh from Muwani on Friday night, also claimed that they saw the suspected killer leopard and made a short video clip of the animal.

'We spotted the leopard in the Mela Pani area and made a one-minute video clip of the animal. It appeared to be heading towards Rin village, but disappeared from the scene after some time,' Bhupendra Singh said.

When contacted, Sub-Divisional Forest Officer (SDFO) NC Pant said a hunter has already been deputed in the area to kill the leopard. PTI CORR ALM RC