Four persons injured by the animal before it was caged

A full-grown leopard that was on the prowl in the city's busy Nabagraha locality on Saturday noon was caged by a courageous resident in the store room of a business establishment. It was later tranquillised by personnel of the forest department and taken to the Assam State Zoo but not before a two-hour-long high drama in which four persons were injured by the animal.

One of the injured persons, Pintu Dey, suffered severe injuries on his head and face. The injured were rushed to a nearby hospital.

The leopard was suspected to have come down from the nearby hills in search of food.

As people ran helter-skelter on seeing the leopard on the busy Silpukhuri-Nabagraha road, Haridev Pathak, an auto-rickshaw driver, who was witness to the leopard injuring two persons as it tried to flee from the swelling crowd, mustered courage to close the door of the small room of a business concern where the leopard had taken shelter. Mr. Pathak threw his weight on the door even as the leopard pushed from the inside.

He then signalled to some people watching the drama from a distance to come and help him. At first nobody dared to volunteer. After a while one person came forward and handed him an iron wire and quickly fled. Mr. Pathak then managed to close the door tightly.

“When I saw the leopard entering the room, I rushed there to close the door. I was quite terrified as the animal was pushing from the inside. I thought I was going to die. I am happy the leopard could be captured alive before it caused injuries to more people,” he told journalists. The crowd cheered Mr. Pathak for his courageous act.

As one side of the room in which the leopard was caged faced the road and had a glass pane, people could get a glimpse of the animal. Eyewitnesses said seeing the surging crowd, the leopard ran from one house to another looking for some place to hide and attacked four persons who came in its way. One eyewitness claimed that an auto-rickshaw driver first sighted it taking shelter under an auto-rickshaw and immediately raised an alarm. The incident threw city traffic out of gear for hours.