Minister in-charge of Mysuru district S.T. Somashekar on Tuesday, January 24, visited the families of 11-year-old Jayanth at Horalahalli and 60-year-old Siddamma at Kannanayakanahalli in T. Narasipura taluk. The two were killed recently in separate leopard attacks. The Minister consoled the grieving family members and received memoranda from the respective villagers on the rising leopard threats in the taluk and measures to be taken for safeguarding the people.
Speaking to reporters after the visit, Mr. Somashekar said Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai is holding a high-level meeting in Bengaluru on Tuesday evening with the senior forest officials, officials concerned and the Mysuru district administration on the measures to be taken in connection with the killing of four persons in the taluk in separate leopard attacks since October last year.
“The deputy commissioner, Mysuru visited the taluk and collected information in connection with the meeting with the CM. The DC will apprise the CM on the situation and submit his report. The farmers have already been told to harvest the standing sugarcane crop. The roadside vegetation will be cleared. The complaint from villagers on the lack of bus services to the villages will also be looked into. Whatever precautions and steps to be taken over the situation will be taken accordingly,” he said.
Mr. Somashekar said the concerns expressed by the grieving family members and the villagers will be communicated to the CM and appropriate steps will be announced to deal with such tragic incidents in the future. “The Chief Minister will make an announcement on the measures after the meeting,” he replied.
When reporters had drawn the Minister’s attention to the fresh sighting of leopard and the cattle killing in the taluk, and the public ire against the forest department for delaying steps, he said the complaints will be brought to the notice of competent authorities. The top-brass of the forest department will be attending the CM’s meeting and the concerns raised by the affected villages will be raised.
To another question, the Minister said the top forest officers will be made accountable and action will be taken against them by the government if the situation arising out of the leopard attacks was not tackled on priority.
On whether special teams had been constituted to tackle the leopard menace in the taluk, he said, “The CM will be announcing the steps today evening in the interest of the public.”
Meanwhile, combing operations have been stepped up in and around Horalahalli where the boy was killed by a leopard on January 21. Over 100 forest staff are in the pursuit of the elusive leopard that killed the boy and the elderly woman in separate attacks. Camera traps and drone cameras have been deployed to track the feline that continues to be on the prowl in the vicinity.