Missions sniff monkey

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  • Published 8.04.05

New Delhi, April 8: The Pakistan embassy here went into a panic last week over mysterious intruders, coming as they did days before Pervez Musharraf?s visit.

A senior embassy official, keeping in view the tight security in the run-up to the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus launch, registered a complaint with Delhi police.

Aware of the fallout of a likely security breach, the station house officer at Chanakyapuri police station and officials from the Intelligence Bureau rushed to the spot to conduct a thorough search. But no intruder could be detected.

It appeared to be a false alarm but they did not take a chance because a steady stream of high-profile visitors such as Musharraf?s mother Zarin, brother Javed and son Bilal had recently passed through the capital.

The Pakistan President will be here to watch the final one-dayer between India and Pakistan on April 17.

But two days after the Pakistan embassy alarm, its Sri Lankan counterpart on Kautilya Marg in the same locality called the police with the same complaint. It reported an intruder who tried to break into the embassy.

There was another security alert and yet another thorough search but without results. Chanakyapuri police registered a case of attempted theft and intrusion on the basis of the complaint.

But the sleuths believe the mysterious intruders are no global terror but a local one ? the monkeys that infest Chanakyapuri.

?The monkey menace is a huge problem in the Chanakyapuri area. But there is little that can be done to solve this problem,? a police official said.

The simian nuisance in the capital has posed a problem that even top bureaucrats have found difficult to solve. One attempt to tackle the menace at the North and South Block offices was to use a trained langur to drive away its brethren.

Another langur succeeded for a while at the Delhi Vidhan Sabha, another infested spot, until the vengeful monkeys murdered it one winter night last year.

The Union environment and forests ministry even drew up a plan to send the monkeys packing to the forests of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.

But all these efforts notwithstanding, Chanakyapuri police will have to carry on investigations until they get to the bottom of the monkey business at the embassies.