Alleged leopard attack kills boy

The decomposed body of a seven-year-old, with its lower part missing, was found in Rangamati Tea Garden in Malbazar today. Workers claimed that the boy was killed by a leopard.

The body has been sent to Jalpaiguri for post-mortem.

“The boy, Sushen Orao, was missing since Saturday afternoon,” said Sylvester Minz, a worker of the garden located 55km from here on the fringes of Neora Valley National Park. “This morning, when we went to the Ranikhola line to work, we were led to the body by the stench. Its legs and the left hand were missing.”

The spot where the body was found is less than 1km from the workers’ quarters, but no one had visited the area over the past two days.

After the discovery, the workers rushed to the tea garden office claiming that a leopard was behind the killing. The management informed forest officers in Malbazar, who arrived soon after along with police.

“Though the mutilated body suggests a leopard attack, we cannot say anything for sure because there were no eye-witnesses or pug marks nearby,” said Tapas Das, the divisional forest officer of wildlife division II. “But if the post-mortem report says the child was killed by a leopard, we will pay a compensation of Rs 1 lakh to the family.”

The workers said circumstantial evidence suggests it was a leopard that killed Sushen. “The boy was walking home with his elder brother Jogen on Saturday afternoon. Jogen later said he had heard shouts from behind (Sushen was trailing him) and turned back to find his brother missing,” said Jaitu Orao, a worker.

A search for Sushen had proved futile, Jaitu added.

Source: The Telegraph