Thane: Leopard in Kalyan building sparks panic, 5 injured

Times of India | 5 days ago | 25-11-2022 | 05:58 am

Thane: Leopard in Kalyan building sparks panic, 5 injured

KALYAN: A leopard walked into Kalyan city on Thursday morning, sparking panic and excitement among residents. While it was first spotted around 5. 30am, not many were sure it was a leopard they had seen, said local residents. However, fear gripped residents of Chinchpada locality after the wild cat sauntered into a five-storey building around 8. 30am. The leopard attacked five people, including a forest official, resulting injuries to them, before a forest team tranquillised it at around 5. 30pm in a 5-hour rescue operation. The injured persons are stable. The most important role in catching the leopard was played by assistant conservator of forests, Girija Desai, who is just 38.It was Desai who succeeded in tranquillising the leopard“The male cat was aggressive,” assistant conservator of forests Girija Desai said. The leopard has been taken to SGNP, Borivli. Leopard rescue operation hampered by cramped space and huge crowds The operation to rescue the leopard that had entered a Kalyan building was hampered by huge crowds that had gathered outside. The cat was first spotted walking across the street in Hanuman Nagar around 5. 30am, locals claimed. Some said it had walked past a few buildings in their locality but, at that point, no one was sure it was a leopard or “something that looked like a leopard”. After some sight-seeing, the spotted cat strolled down Chinchpada around 8am when it ran into curious stares and panic-stricken humans. The leopard mauled a resident of a chawl, Mahohar Gaikwad. The sight unnerved Rajiv Pandey, who was standing at the entrance of Sriram Anugraha Towers, a 5-storey building, with his 2-year-old daughter in his arms. A frozen Pandey tightened his embrace around the infant and was ready to scoot when the cat lunged towards him. The baby is safe, but Pandey sustained minor injuries to the head and hand, and has been hospitalised. As he bolted, the leopard, also seemingly in panic, waddled into the building. A local who spotted Pandey’s encounter with the wild creature raised an alarm. After a few shrieks, the sound of doors being slammed shut rent the air even as the leopard tip-toed to the first floor, said eyewitnesses. Outside the building, a few shops which had just opened for the day’s business downed shutters. No one knows who alerted the police, fire brigade and forest officials. Forest officer of Kalyan range, Rajesh Channe, reached the spot and cordoned off the area before his colleagues arrived with a cage and other equipment. The gate to the building was blocked and announcements were made asking residents to stay put in their homes. Residents who did not have iron grilles in their balconies were brought out using a ladder. Amid the pandemonium, a senior citizen, Rama Singh (78), slipped and was clawed at by the wild cat. Lalchand Tiwari, a local Congress leader whose home and office are in the building, said his worker, Nandu Parab, who had come to clean his office was holed up for at least six hours. “Most residents locked themselves up at home…children, especially, were not allowed outside till the evening,” he said. Gaining access to the building was a bit of a challenge due to its structure and the cramped space, said assistant conservator Desai. “The building abuts the street and does not have any space at the entrance, which made the rescue difficult,” said Desai. What made matters worse is that the animal seemed stressed and, therefore, exhibited aggression. “Due to this, it took a lot of time to use the tranquilliser dart,” she added. Drone cameras were deployed to zero in on the location of the leopard during the rescue operation which was led by Dr Shailesh Pethe, assistant commissioner (wildlife), Sanjay Gandhi National Park, along with Desai. A forest official, Dinesh Gupta, was injured on the head and hand during the effort. He has been administered 15 sutures, said Pawan Sharma of NGO Resqink Association for Wildlife Welfare. Also, a social worker, Harshal Salve, was injured as the leopard bit his hand. NGOs working for animal protection, including PAWS run by Nilesh Bhange, helped the rescue team. Forest officials said the leopard could have found its way into Kalyan city through the Haji Malang hillock, which is located about 20km from where it was rescued. “It must have come in from the villages in the night,” said Channe. Earlier this year, a leopard which had reached a village in Kalyan via Badlapur, was rescued from the Matheran forest range. A video of this leopard had surfaced with its head stuck in a jar. In 2016, a spotted cat had entered a bungalow in Ulhasnagar. The occupants of the bungalow had run out of the house and were, thus, saved from any attack.


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Thane: Man, 70, on train to Kerala, gets off at Kalyan, found in Mulund
Times of India | 2 days ago | 28-11-2022 | 06:04 am
Times of India
2 days ago | 28-11-2022 | 06:04 am

KALYAN: A 70-year-old man from Kerala who disembarked from a long-distance train at Kalyan and got separated from his family was reunited , thanks to the alacrity shown by the railway police. The elderly man was part of a group of more than 100 pilgrims who had been on a fortnight's pilgrimage to Kashi, Ayodhya and other shrines in the north. On their way back home to Kerala the man, Krishnan Namboothiri, alighted at Kalyan around 2am on Saturday although the group was supposed to travel up to the destination point at the Kurla terminus before boarding a connecting train to Kerala. His relatives later said they were not aware that he had got off the train. It was only after the train had reached Kurla terminus that Namboothiri's wife and other family members realised that he was missing. A few of the relatives went back to Kalyan and sought help from the station master. Namboothiri's elderly wife and most of the others in the group were told to proceed on their journey to Kerala. A check of footage from CCTV cameras at Kalyan station showed Namboothiri getting off the outstation train. The relatives were told to contact the railway police at Kalyan. Namboothiri's photos were circulated on on various WhatsApp groups of the railway police, said senior inspector Mukesh Dhage. Within a few hours, the railway police at Mulund station got back to say that a person meeting the description of the missing senior citizen had been spotted outside a temple near Mulund railway station on Saturday evening. Namboothiri was reunited with his relatives who took him along and the elderly man is slated to leave for Kerala with the relatives on Monday. Namboothiri, who has never been to Mumbai, has said that he is not aware how he had reached Mulund from Kalyan station, where he got down from the express train. Santosh M, a relative of Namboothiri who lives in Kalyan, said, "He has told us he does not know why he got down from the train at Kalyan and is not even sure how he travelled up to Mulund... But we are thankful to the Kalyan railway police officer Mukesh Dhage who swung into action and helped trace him. We were quite worried for him."

Thane: Man, 70, on train to Kerala, gets off at Kalyan, found in Mulund
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