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‘Leopard that killed 4-year-old girl in Budgam captured’

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Srinagar: The Forest department on Tuesday claimed to have captured a leopard that mauled to death four-year-old Adha Mir earlier this month in the outskirts of the city, officials said here.

A senior official of the Wildlife department, Rashid Naqash, said that the captured leopard was the same that had killed Adha after picking her from the lawn of her house at Ompora housing colony 11 days ago.

The officials said teams had been tracking the pug marks of the female cat which weighs around 80 kilograms.

However, the family and people in the locality of Ompura of Budgam district raised their doubts over the claim and said when the pug marks had not even been taken, how could they come to the conclusion that it was the same leopard.

The animal was captured from a nursery in the office complex of Budgam Deputy Commissioner, which is three kms from the place where the incident took place on June 03, they said. The leopard was spotted in the vicinity of the complex a few days back.

The family members, including Adha’s father, Muddasir said that he had accompanied the forest and wildlife personnel during their visits and there was no forensic team with them.

“Now I wonder where have they taken and matched the pug marks from,” he said.

A sobbing Muddasir said that he did not want any other child from the vicinity to be mauled by the leopard and requested the authorities to ensure that no more animals were present in the locality, which has a government housing colony, three villages and some colleges.

“I don’t want to see any parent suffering the way we are,” he said and appealed to the authorities to be sure and not make a remark just to ease the mounting pressure on them. “After all, it’s a matter of human life,” he said.

Muddassir, along with other people in the locality, said that five leopards had been spotted in March this year on a CCTV in the area. “Isn’t that a reason for worry for all the people living in the area?” another resident Aijaz asked.

The tragic death of Adha shook the Kashmir Valley as it underlined human-animal conflict because of rapid forest destruction.

Adha was mauled by the leopard when she was preparing for the birthday party of her seven-year-old brother Ali. The celebration of June 03 came to an abrupt halt when her heart-wrenching shrieks pierced the silent evening.

The next day Adha’s body parts were recovered from an adjacent nursery-turned-forest, leaving a grieving family behind. (With PTI inputs)

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