In yet another man-animal conflict, a wild bear critically injured three persons Monday at Khiram in this south Kashmir’s district taking the total toll of injured persons from the past month to 20 while two persons were also killed in their attack.
Eyewitnesses said a wild bear suddenly appeared in the paddy fields and pounced upon Abdur Salam Bhat, Abdur Rashid Lone and Bashir Ahmed, who were cultivating the paddy. Other villagers working nearby rushed to the spot and rescued the trio from the clutches of the beast. The injured were immediately rushed to the District hospital Islamabad where doctors referred them to SK Institute of Medical Science in a critical condition.
As the news of attacked spread to the village people in numbers came out carrying lathis and sharp edged weapons to chase and kill the animal, however, they failed to trace the bear. People accused the wildlife authorities of negligence.
“Two weeks ago, when a bear appeared in the Nowshera village, we immediately informed the wildlife officials but they did not turn up until the beast critically injured four villagers,” said a resident of Nowshera, Farooq Ahmad.
Though the wildlife authorities have set up a control room at Divisional Forest Office (DFO) Lidder, people allege that it does not serve any purpose as officials at the control room never attend the phone whenever any wild animal attacks the local human population.
“Attacks on the human by wild animals have become a daily routine but even then the wildlife authorities seem to be in a deep slumber,” said a resident of Waghama, Shabir Ahmad.
Admitting that their has been growing incidences of man animal conflicts in various parts of Islamabad, Regional Wildlife Warden of south Kashmir Imtiyaz Ahmad said, “The department is short of both manpower as well as equipment.”
Ahmad said “We cannot rush to every place where wild animals attack human beings as we have a dearth of man and shortage of equipments. The department has formulated a comprehensive plan of 42 crores, but so for there is no positive response from the Government of India with regard to our plan.”