Aarey Milk Colony. File pic
A police officer has decided there is a man-eater on the prowl in Aarey Milk Colony, while forest officials are still investigating this. The Thane Forest Department (Territorial) is still finding the reason behind the man-animal conflicts which have taken place recently at Aarey Milk Colony, but a senior police inspector from Aarey police station has come to a conclusion. In a letter written to the forest department, he has said that a man-eater is responsible for the attacks; when the term is generally not used for an animal until there is a pattern of repeatedly hunting humans.
mid-day had done a story (Now, Aarey Colony cops take aim against leopards) on April 1, stating how the police have been claiming that Aarey Colony residents are living in fear of leopards, and the big cats should be trapped and moved elsewhere. Following this, the forest department and the Mumbaikars for SGNP initiative on April 7 conducted an awareness session for the Aarey police (Cops attend workshop on how to handle leopards, wildlife laws), reported in mid-day on April 8.
Very little learnt
It is obvious the police haven’t learnt much from it. Despite it they made the bizarre claim after the mutilated body of a three-year-old girl named Darshini Mutthu Vel was found near Unit 13 on May 10. While the police feel that she might have been killed in a man-animal conflict incident, locals claim she might have been murdered, after which the body might have been consumed by an animal.
The senior police inspector of Aarey Milk Colony police station, Vijay Oulkar, had written to the Deputy Conservator of Forest (DCF), Thane (Territorial) on May 13 about the death of the girl, and the investigation. A copy of the letter with mid-day mentions details of the case and cause of death — “shock and haemorrhage due to multiple injuries and fractures with evidence of mutilation (un-natural).”
Asked about the use of ‘man-eater,’ Oulkar said, “We have written the letter. The forest department should decide whether the animal is a man-eater or not.
Trap the ‘man-eater’
While the post mortem report does not mention the ecause of death, the letter says, ‘The forest department should give the government compensation that is given to the deceased’s family in a man-animal conflict incident and should take action and trap the man-eater or the dangerous animal that is roaming at Aarey Milk Colony.’
The word man-eater is very rarely used. In a series of man-animal conflict incidents, the suspected creature is termed a problematic animal.
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