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Police files case after leopard lynched in South Kashmir

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Initial investigations suggest animal killed for getting its skin, other body parts

by Yana Mir
Villager de-skins a dead leopard

Kulgam, 03 Apr 2020

Police on Friday registered a case against many people in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district for lynching a leopard before the beast attacked and injured seven villagers.
Chief Wildlife Warden, J&K UT, Suresh Gupta said that he has directed concerned officials to file a case against the people who lynched the leopard in broad-daylight in Damhal Hanjpora village of Kulgam.
“Action will be taken against them as per the law,” Gupta added.
On Thursday, a leopard appeared in Khud Hanjipora village of the district and pounded upon a group of villagers. At least seven villagers were injured by leopard before the locals cornered the beast and lynched it to death.
“The leopard didn’t fall in our trap. The leopard was killed by villagers in self-defense after it injured eight villagers. It was a brutal attempt by the villagers,” Wildlife Warden Rouf Ahmad Zargar told our news agency.
He said the body of the leopard was dumped at a Nallah and some miscreants had peeled off skin from parts of the body.
“The body was taken into custody and post-mortem conducted. We have filed a case against the miscreants,” he said.
A letter written by the Wildlife Warden south Kashmir to the police has sought strict action against the culprits.
“Initially, it was observed that the animal has been killed in self-defense but after observing the video and missing of some skin portion from the dead body, it depicts that the death of common leopard was not a case of self-defense but was intentionally done to get some body parts. It shows the case is sheer violation of wildlife (protection) Act 1972 and completely shows the intention of poaching,” the letter written to the Duty Officer, Police Post Manzgam reads.
The letter urges police to trace the culprits and book them under sections (9), (39) and (50) of the wildlife (protection) Act
When contacted, Station House Officer (SHO) Manzgam DH Pora said that a case has been filed against several people for lynching leopard. He said police will identify the culprits with the help of video that has gone viral on social media.

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