Abid Hussain

Leopards create panic in Budgam villages

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Budgam, Feb 09: Panic has gripped several villages of Budgam district as locals have been spotting leopards from last many months, while Wildlife department seems to be in deep slumber.

The residents of Lakhripora village, around 1.5 kms from district headquarters, said that they are living in constant fear due to the presence of leopards in the area.

"Because of fear, we have changed our daily routine. We enter our houses before 6 pm. We have informed Wildlife authorities many a times but they aren't serious," said Mushtaq Ahmad, a local who claims to have spotted leopard thrice.

He added, last year, Wildlife officials installed cages in Lakhripora to trap leopards, but after few days, they removed these cages.

In the same year, Ahmad said, a leopard barged in an animal shed and killed six sheep of a local shepherd there.

Another local, Altaf Ahmad said that wild beasts are continuously changing their position. "These leopards were seen in Lakhripora, Patwaw, Paller and Waterwani villages and till date Wildlife officials seems to be disinterested towards the issue," he added.

Recently, the natives of Waterwani were on tenterhooks for the whole night after a leap of leopard entered the area.

Ghulam Mohammad, a local said, "People were carrying rods, logs and other sharp edged weapons to kill these animals. But they fled to the nearby village."

The people have also complained that on Budgam-Jawalapora road, leopards could often be spotted.

When contacted, concerned control room senior official, Shabir Ahmad said that they had placed cages in Lakhripora and Paller villages, which were removed after no leopard was trapped.

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