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Students plead for jackal relief

Calcutta, Sept. 3: Scared of repeated attacks by jackals, over 100 school students of the Nodakhali area of South 24-Parganas have petitioned the sub-divisional officer at Alipore for a riddance.

Six persons have been injured by the animal and all of them had to be admitted to the local hospital.

“We never faced such attacks before. It is quite surprising that the jackals have attacked humans, whom they usually avoid. Padma Bhuiyan was badly bitten. She had to be shifted to the NRS Hospital,” said Buchan Banerjee, a resident.

Some of the other victims have been sent to Sambhunath Pandit Hospital in Calcutta.

Sub-divisional officer Dibyendu Sarkar assured the schoolchildren that animal-catchers would be sent to round up the jackals.

The area falls under what used to be Jyoti Basu’s Assembly constituency, Satgachia.

The first case of jackal attack recorded in the local hospital was Minati Pal of Palpara. Later, reports started coming from several adjoining areas — Chak Bansberia, Thanapara and Haur Mannapara.

Sarkar said the residents have complained that the jackals mostly attack passengers on rickshaw vans. After the first few attacks, they pleaded police for help.

Circle inspector of Mahestala C.K. Das Mahapatra confirmed that incidents of jackal attack had been reported. “The problem is quite new to us. It is not a law and order problem. We are trying to contact the wildlife department so that the animals can be captured without doing them any harm,” said Mahapatra.

Divisional forest officer (wild life) A.N. Bhattacharya said the department will act only after the police officially reports the Nodakhali case.

“Usually, traps are laid with food to lure the animals. After catching them, we will see whether any of them has become rabid. If they are fine, the animals will be kept under observation for some days. Then, they will be sent to the rescue centre in Salt Lake,” Bhattacharya said.

Chief medical officer of health Bhaskar Bhattacharya said the block medical officer would be asked to prepare a report on the entire episode.

“We have proper arrangements at M.R. Bangur Hospital to treat such patients. After getting reports from the block medical officer, I shall take up the matter with the district magistrate so that the wildlife department can be approached for action,” Bhattacharya said.

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