Two persons were injured when villagers went on a rampage insisting on burning to death a leopard which they claimed had killed two kids in the district, prompting the police to resort to lathicharge, an official said on Saturday.

Trouble erupted in Ekeshwar block of the district when forest guards on Friday night trapped a leopard suspected of creating panic in the area and villagers tried to stop them from taking away the big cat, Divisional Forest Officer Amit Verma said. “Villagers were insisting that they should be allowed to burn to death the leopard claiming that it had recently killed two kids in Bagera and Budhgaon villages,” he said.

They began damaging forest department vehicles and hurling stones at the forest guards and when efforts to dissuade them failed, the matter was reported to police who rushed to the spot to calm down the angry mob, he said.

However, the mob refused to budge prompting the police to resort to a lathicharge which left two villagers with minor injuries, he said.

The police action finally dispersed the crowd and the man eating leopard was taken away by forest officials, the DFO added.