Injured in a leopard attack, a farm labourer and his friends allegedly beat up the carnivore to death with an axe and wooden sticks, tied its legs to a heavy stone and threw the carcass in a river in Gir-Somnath district.
The villagers did not stop the atrocity at that and went on to retrieve the carcass from the river and burnt it, a forest official said.
Farm labourer, Bhagwan Mala, has been detained in this connection, he said, while describing the incident as “shocking”.
On Thursday, Mala had sustained a minor injury when the feline attacked him while he was working at his field in Chikhli village under Una tehsil of Gir-Somnath district.
After managing to escape from there, Mala asked a few of his friends to come to his field with axe and wooden sticks. The group of men then allegedly beat up the carnivore to death. They tied its legs to a heavy stone and threw the carcass in a river near the village, the official said.
However, after they learnt that other villagers and forest officials had apparently got a whiff of the incident, the men took out the animal’s carcass from the river and burnt it after sprinkling petrol over it on Friday, in a bid to destroy evidence of the offence.
“We detained Bhagwan Mala last night and are on the look out of 5—7 other persons also allegedly involved in the incident,” the official, who is a member of the team investigating the matter, told PTI over phone. He said the forest department will register a case with police in this regard under relevant provisions of the Wildlife (Protection) Act.