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A leopard was beaten to death by a mob in the presence of forest officials whom the villagers had held hostage Wednesday. The villagers killed the animal after it attacked and injured four local residents of Naksa Baksa village in Chowk police station area of Maharajganj district. The officials were later released after the leopard had been killed.
A case will be registered against unidentified villagers for killing the animal and illegal confinement of the forest officials, said Divisional Forest Officer, Maharajganj, Shivaji Rai.
The body of the leopard has been sent to a panel of three doctors to conduct postmortem.
“We suspect the leopard, which was around eight years old, had entered the village from south chowk range of the Khosta forest belt. Around 2,000 to 2,500 villagers hit the animal with stones and sticks killing him on the spot,” Rai said.
According to the DFO, the animal attacked two villagers around 9 am. As the information spread, the villagers surrounded the field where the animal was hiding. The leopard later climbed a nearby tree. Meanwhile, a team of forest officials rushed to the spot but the locals did not let them catch the animal, Rai added.
Meanwhile, the leopard jumped from the tree and attacked two other villagers. Thereafter, locals too attacked it by pelting stones. Once the animal was unable to move following multiple injuries, some villagers started beating it with sticks, ultimately leading to its death. Station House Officer, Chowk police station, Shiv Bachan Singh Yadav said the injured persons have been admitted to the district hospital and doctors have stated their condition to be stable.