Local people at Kimdanda and Kur villages in the district have been terrorised after a tiger killed six children in the area in the past nine months.
As a recent victim, four-year old Sushant Nepali was attacked and taken away while he was on his way back home with his mother Ruma from his maternal home on Friday. Ruma has gone into depression following the incident.
The tiger was first spotted in mid-April after it attacked and killed three-year old Narayan Nepali from Nuwakot. Later in the same month, the animal killed six-year old Umesh Nepali and 20-month-old Yuwaraj Marasini of Kimdanda in the same month. It killed two-year old Suresh Acharya of Kur in May and seven-year-old Sujata BK of Kimdanda in August. Two-year old Jeewan Sunar of Kur, who barely escaped the tiger attack, however, has been injured.
Though locals have resorted to gathering around in crowds and clamouring, blowing conch shell, sahnai (a musical instrument), beating on plates and other utensils in the evenings to keep the tiger away, it has not been of much help. “As the attacks have increased, villagers have stopped walking around alone,” said Narayan KC of Khanchikot, adding that the tiger can be seen in field and roads even during the day and preyed on unassuming victims.
“We have not been able to go to farmland and do our daily chores,” said Krishna Pariyar of Dihidanda. “Every time someone from the family goes out, we are compelled to be in a state of constant fear until their return,” said Rudra Thapa, a local resident, adding that villagers letting their children from going to or returning from school unattended.
Locals said the tiger might have come to human settlement due to the forest fires in Tarai. Assistant Forest Officer Madan Prasad Dhungana said locals should keep their homes well lit during the nights and adopt security measures.
Meanwhile, a search committee comprising Chief District Officer Khagendra Poudel, police officials, journalists and representatives of local political parties has been formed. “A police team divided in two groups has been deployed in Kimdanda and surrounding areas to search for the tiger,” police said. Forest officials in the district have also been deployed in the search.