Friday, March 25, 2005

Monkey army scares villagers of Sirthala

Visit village Sirthala near Khanna, and you find monkeys sitting on the roof of almost every house here. With about 150 monkeys camping here for about nine months now, a monkey scare has gripped the village and its neighbouring areas. Villagers say they have now become a nightmare, and routinely attack for food, hurt them, tear clothes and cause other damage. Fortunately, residents have been saved from monkey bites till now.

Villagers assert that they had filed a complaint at the local police station against the monkeys, but no action was taken. ‘‘We had learned to live with their threat, but their increasing nuisance is worrying us all,’’ says Kaur Chand, a retired government official.

Adds Baljinder Kaur, another villager, ‘‘We have piled thorns on the roof, so that they do not come down. We can’t even leave the clothes outside for drying, since the monkeys run away with them.’’

Says resident Mohinder Kaur, ‘‘My grandson had to jump from the first floor when a group of monkeys attacked him.’’

The Newsline team today saw scores of monkeys in the village. ‘‘Many others have gone to take rest and come out in large numbers in the evening,’’ says Gagandeep, a village lad.

Amrit Kaur, a village woman, says that a 26-year-old woman had a very harrowing experience about a month ago when monkeys attacked her. Rajinder Singh, a villager, says that in winter all used to sleep inside. ‘‘But as summer sets in, it will be difficult to sleep outside, even though there is no electricity.’’

Story here.

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