Jaipur, Aug 11: In a shocking incident, a crocodile is said to have swallowed a man in Karauli district early morning today on the banks of Chambal river.
According to eyewitnesses and police, Gopal Malaha, a native of Todi village in Mandarayal, had gone to the banks of Chambal river between Rajghat and Ataar Ghat with his livestock for their early morning drinking water session. When his animals had gone a little deep into water, he went after them. It was then that a crocodile suddenly attacked him. Many people standing on the banks started shouting but by then the crocodile had dragged Gopal deep into the water and swallowed him up.
Villagers say it was like a scene they usually see in films and they could never imagine that something like this could happen here. The villagers are terrified and in a state of shock.
The police and the villagers are looking for Gopal, although they haven’t found any trace of him as yet.
There have been earlier reports of crocodile attacks in the region. In 2014, two boys had been attacked by crocodile during the Durga idol immersion ceremony. After which they had drowned.
A 20-year-old girl was killed by a crocodile in the National Chambal Sanctuary’s Chakarnagar area in UP’s Etawah district as early as June this year. According to reports, the deceased, Neeraj, was bathing on the banks of the river on the occasion of Ekadashi when the reptile attacked her.
Last year in September BJP legislator from Ladpura Bhawani Singh Rajawat had raised a controversy when he suggested that crocodiles and gharials in the Chambal be culled to prevent attacks on locals.
According to wildlife experts, National Chambal Sanctuary is home to about 500 crocodiles as recorded in the last Census. People living nearby on the banks of Chambal and its tributary Chandola are under constant threat. He said several villagers have been injured and many livestock killed.
The river is the only water body in central India that has a population of dolphins, crocodiles and gharials. All three animals are protected under the Wildlife Protection Act 1972, and killing them attracts a jail term of up to seven years and a fine of Rs 5 lakh.
Environmentalists claim the rise in crocodile attacks is due to the depleting water level of the Chambal river, which has caused shortage of natural feed in the form of fish and other aquatic animals.