The incident took place at 1 pm when the big cat was resting on a tree at Ouguri Pathar near the village. On seeing the animal, people came out in large numbers and started attacking it with sharp weapons. They first cut the tail and legs of the animal and severed its head before forest staff arrived at the spot.
“After getting the information, we immediately rushed to the spot but the animal succumbed to its injuries before we reached there. We found that the tail and legs of the beheaded animal have been cut by the villagers,” said forest range officer (Borhat) Prasanta Gogoi. He also added a police complaint has been filed against those involved in the crime.
“We have asked police to collect the video footage of the incident to identify the culprits involved in this inhuman act. We suspect the involvement of more than 15 persons in the offence,” he said.
Video recording was done by cameramen of some local TV channels. Forest staff have requested them to furnish the footage to help in the investigation.
A witness said the big cat had neither attacked humans nor animals. But more than 1000 people of the entire area gathered there within half an hour to kill the innocent animal. “The leopard did not attack anyone so far here. But how can people commit such an act?” he questioned.
Four months ago, a female leopard with two cubs had attacked two villagers at Balijan grant, a nearby village. The duo sustained serious injuries. Prasanta said people panicked on seeing the big cat on Friday and killed it.