Tranquilized bear beaten to death by mob in Budgam, police registers FIR

Srinagar: In Shunglipora village of Budgam district, a bear attacked two locals on Tuesday. While the locals sustained injured, the bear was lynched to death by the mob. An FIR has been lodged by the police on solicitation of Department of Wildlife Protection.

According to Divisional Forest Officer Budgam Abdul Rauf Zargar, at around 1.30 pm on Tuesday, a bear had injured around four persons in Shunglipora, Khag. The department could not save the bear even after tranquilizing it. “We received the information from the concerned Deputy Commissioner. We deployed our team. Meanwhile, the bear took refuge on a tree. He could have been saved but he was beaten to death by the mob.”

The injured persons were taken to the Public Health Centre, Khag. They were identified as Abdul Rashid Khan (45) S/O Lal Khan and Manzoor Ahmad Sheikh (30) S/o Abdul Rashid who were then referred to JVC Hospital, Srinagar for further treatment. The bear had also entered the premises of Boys Middle School, Shunglipora and injured a 9-year-old Class II student Sajad Ahmad Malik and another person named Mohammad Malik.

After the bear had taken refuge in a tree, the Wildlife Protection team had tranquilized it after which it had lost consciousness giving people there a chance to channelize their anger by beating it to death.

“He abruptly fell from the tree. Then, people lynched him to death,” he says adding the bear was shifted to Dachigam National Park for post-mortem and an FIR was lodged in the concerned police station there.

“Ideally, when the animal is tranquilised, we rescue it to the nearby forest area. Or we wait till evening hours till the animal itself leaves the space. However, due to the law and order situation at such places, we are forced to tranquilise the animal,” says Rauf.

“Had the crowd cooperated, we could have rehabilitated the bear and gave it a revitalizer so it could come to its original position. Our priority is to save people as well as the animals,” he says adding there have been thousands of incidents when the animals are trans-located to a safer place.

He also says that the court will take its course as the department has lodged an FIR. The identity of the individuals responsible for the crime will be identified by the police.

“The bear had injured four persons. Then, the people had killed it. We have lodged an FIR No. 70/ 2018 U/S 13 Wildlife Protection Act,” says Munshi Khag Police Station.

“The report filed by the Wildlife Department has not mentioned any specific person. It has mentioned ‘unidentified mob’. If the individuals are identified, a Challan will be filed against them. Then the court will see to it,” he says.

Meanwhile, a video showing men beating the bleeding unconscious bear to death with sticks, while whistling and boasting about it, is doing rounds on the internet. Many Kashmiris have condemned the act.

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