Lucknow: Furious over continued leopard attacks on humans, villagers near the Katarniaghat forest reserve in Uttar Pradesh`s Bahraich district roughed up forest officials and held them captive for several hours, an official said Wednesday.
A team of forest officials, including a deputy ranger, was roughed up by the locals of Azad Nagar village Tuesday after a leopard, which had killed a minor girl Oct 24, grievously mauled a youth Ramu in the village fields.
Accusing forest officials of not taking adequate steps to prevent wild animal attacks on humans, a large number of locals barged inside a forest outpost and manhandled the officials there.
"It was only after the intervention of the police that we managed to rescue our officials," Divisional Forest Officer R.K. Singh told reporters Wednesday in Bahraich, 140 km from here.
"The leopard is hiding in the sugarcane fields of the village. We are carrying out an operation to drive it towards the forest area," added Singh.
He confirmed that the same leopard had killed seven-year-old Kavita while she was sleeping outside her house in Sampatpurwa village.
According to officials, over the last one month as many as six people have been injured and two killed in leopard attacks in Bahraich.
The Katarniaghat forest reserve is home to at least 32 leopards.