The Discovery of yet another body in Chandrapur forest Thursday has increased friction between the police and forest departments.
Charandas Wakde (65) of Babupeth was found dead near Chandrapur bypass adjacent to a patch of forest known to have leopards. He was sleeping outside his house the previous night.
A few days ago,the body of a mentally challenged woman was found partly eaten close to where Wakde was found dead. Later,a 40-year-old man was found dead a few km away.
This is the fourth body found in Chandrapur forest in the past two weeks. With many people dying in a series of leopard attacks before that,these four deaths are also being seen by police as wildlife attack cases. The forest department,however,says there is no evidence to show wildlife involvement.
Deputy superintendent of police Raju Bhujbal claimed Thursdays was a clear case of wildlife attack. The old man was sleeping outside. His party eaten body was found near a nullah some distance away.
Asked if there were pugmarks near the spot,he said,It is a grassy patch,there cant be pugmarks.
Chandrapur chief conservator of forest B S K Reddy contested: We have already caged a leopard near the place where some of the bodies were found. We cant conclude from an eaten body that the person was attacked. Most of these bodies were 2-3 days old and could have been eaten after the people died. These are clearly police cases. We have sought post-mortem reports from the civil surgeon.