Date:12/11/2007 URL:

New Delhi

Monkey menace continues, 25 attacked in East Delhi colony

Staff Reporter

Victims include woman and children; one in critical condition

On the prowl…

NEW DELHI: The season of lights acquired a crimson hue for over 25 residents of Shastri Park in Shahadra here on Saturday with a solitary monkey clawing the unsuspecting victims as they lounged on terraces. One of the injured, Farzana, is said to be in a serious condition at Lok Nayak Jaya Prakash Narayan Hospital.

The incident, which highlighted yet again the lackadaisical approach of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi in remedying the monkey menace, took place on Saturday evening when in the space of three hours a rampant simian gouged several children and a woman in the Buland Masjid area. The Shastri Nagar slums in East Delhi are mostly inhabited by members of the low-income group with several houses lacking any concretised roofs or protective reinforcements. After the mishap, several residents armed themselves with poles and sticks and kept a nightly watch to nab the errant monkey lest it made another attempt to attack.

The residents later said though they had complained about the prevalence of monkeys in their locality to the MCD several times earlier, no monkey catchers had yet been despatched. Unfortunately for the victims, most of who received scratches on their upper extremities, the attack was not the end of their travails. On reaching a local hospital, they were told that the anti-rabies vaccine was not in supply and asked to fund their own medicines.

However, MCD Veterinary Services Director R. B. S. Tyagi said the civic body was trying its best to extradite simians from residential areas. “We will put up four or five cages in Shastri Park by Monday and also allot a monkey catcher for the area. All efforts will be made to catch the monkeys who will then be transported to the Asola sanctuary.”The MCD’s Public Relations Officer Deep Mathur said the civic body had rounded up over 25 monkeys this past week and that “the monkey catching programme will be stepped-up to rid the Capital of this nuisance”.

Just this past month, the Delhi’s Deputy Mayor S. S. Bajwa had succumbed to a fall from the terrace as he allegedly attempted to evade an attack of monkeys from the neighbourhood temple.

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