In the wake of increasing claims of the killing of livestock by unidentified animal in different parts of state, Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Sunday has appealed to the public not to panic saying that public safety measures are being taken up by the department concerned.
The appeal comes a day after a pregnant woman was allegedly attacked by the wild animal on Saturday night in Imphal East district. The woman was hospitalised at JNIMS hospital in Imphal with scratch marks on her left hand.
N Biren Singh said the divisional forest officers and police have been instructed to take preventive measures. Wooden cages have been set up to trap the unidentified animal at various places, he added.
He said two forensic scientists from Wildlife Institute of India (WII) Dehradun including a wildlife biologist and a camera track expert have arrived on Sunday.
Singh is confident that the identity of the mysterious animal would soon be ascertained by the experts.
Chief conservator of forests (Wildlife), Anurag Bajpai said WII team had already started collecting samples from affected districts. The team visited Sangaiprou Imphal West district where 35 ducks were killed and Sanjembam area in Imphal East wherein large-scale farms of livestock is situated.
The department is also investigating the present unnatural phenomenon by comparing with similar kind of incident that has happened in other parts of India, said Bajpai.
“Such mysterious killing of livestock also occurred in Orissa last year. In the case of Orissa, only sheep were killed. But, an investigation conducted into the case confirmed that wolf was responsible for the killings there,” he said.
Fear psychosis has gripped Manipur, as images of mutilated carcasses of livestock, allegedly maimed by the mysterious animal, and videos of alleged witness accounts who have encountered the mystery creature are going viral on the social media.
“The reports of this mysterious animal killing livestock have become a nuisance of late. The social media is flooded with images and videos on this mystery killer. Nobody from my family dares to venture outside at night anymore. My kids go to sleep keeping all the lights on,” said A Dhananjoy, a resident of Thangmeiband, Imphal.
Kereilhouvi Angami, principal chief conservator of forests, Manipur, Sunday wrote a letter to Director General of Police (DGP), Manipur, LM Khaute, requesting him to task the Cyber Wing of the department to keep check and vigil on flow of information on social media and ensure that only factual information flows on it, and also the mischievous elements are booked under the law.
Kereilhouvi claimed that there is circulation of many photographs and videos on social media which is leading to panic among the public.
The forest department has already moved a proposal to the administrative department to constitute a district level Task Force by involving concerned deputy commissioner, superintendent of police, divisional forest officer and the district veterinary officer to look into the overall operations and investigations, he added.
The first attack on livestock was reported in Chiengkawnpang village of Churchandpur district in October last week. Mutilated carcasses of a large number of fowls of the villagers were left behind by the mysterious predators. The killing of livestock under similar circumstances reported across the districts eventually including in Imphal areas.