A leopard struck for the second time in five days in Gadbori village, this time killing a 65-year-old woman, a police official said here on Friday.
The victim, Gayabai Hatkar, belonging to a farmer’s family, was fast asleep outside her home when a leopard pounced on her around 4 am, said police official Vasant Nagrekar of Sindewahi Police Station.
“When the other family members woke up this morning, they did not find her sleeping in the usual spot on the verandah. They noticed some blood stains on the ground and followed it,” Nagrekar told IANS.
They found the woman’s badly mutilated body over a hundred metres away from their house and informed the police.
Hundreds of angry villagers staged a sit-in protest and later Congress MLA Vijay Wadettiwar also joined them.
They refused to allow the police to take away the body remnants for an autopsy till the police and local authorities assured security from the growing leopard menace in the village and surrounding forests.
“We want written assurances on what measures the district administration and police will implement on priority basis to ensure safety of the terrified villagers,” Wadettiwar said.
After over eight hours, the villagers relented and allowed the police to take charge of the body which has been sent for an autopsy to a Chandrapur hospital.
This is the second leopard attack in just five days in the same village. Last Sunday, a nine-month old infant Swaraj Gurnule, asleep in his home, was picked up by a leopard and his body pieces were recovered nearly two kms away. (IANS reported on June 2).
Earlier in November, a woman was killed in a leopard attack in Povanpar village and in December again, a monk meditating in the open was attacked and killed by a leopard.
Wadettiwar claimed that there have been nearly two dozen leopard attacks in the district, many of them fatal, in the past few years which has made it difficult for people to move around safely after sunset.