RAJKOT: A leopard mauled a 12-year-old girl to death in Ghantiya village of Junagadh district on Thursday.
Victim Nirmala Puwar was washing utensils in the open near a sugarcane field on Thursday night when the leopard attacked her and dragged her into the near-by fields.
On Friday morning, forest officials found the bones and some body parts of the girl along with her clots 700 metres away from the makeshift house that the family was staying.
According to sources, Nirmala’s parents belong to Nandurbar district of Maharashra and have been working in the sugarcane fields. This is the fourth such incident since February last year when leopard has attacked humans in Junagadh district.
“This is a serious issue as it mostly happens during the period of harvesting sugarcane. Large numbers of migrants arrive in sugarcane field for labour in the month of February and they are not being provided enough shelter by their employers, making their life more vulnerable. These labouers mostly stay in the farm in an open area,” a wildlife activist from Kodinar Dinesh Goswami said.
Goswami said government should take appropriate actions to force the employers to provide safe shelters to migrant labourers to save their live.
“Besides deaths, there are a number of conflicts between wild animals and humans reported during the harvesting seasons,” Goswami added.
According sources, in February 2011, two women were killed by a leopard in Iswariya village in a span of eight hours. Both women, hailing from Nandurbar in Maharashtra, were brought on contract to work in sugarcane fields. They were sleeping in makeshift shanties.