The three-day meeting of the Central Board of Trustees and the Governing Council of VHP concluded on Tuesday at Karsevakpuram in Ayodhya Dham, which discussed in detail the current situation of the country.
A 50-year-old government school teacher, Lakhapat Singh Rawat, from Uttarakhand is admired for his proven skills outside the campus — killing man-eating leopards and tigers, who become threat to human life.
Rawat, who is serving as deputy education officer at his native Gairsain village in Chamoli district, completed his unique half century after he killed a man-eating leopard of Bageshwar on Sunday.
Rawat has killed 48 leopards and two tigers, which had become dangerous for human life, in 17 years.
Commenting on the latest kill, Rawat said, “The man-eating leopard had killed two kids in three months. The jungle cat was young, about four-and-half-year-old, and had become man-eater due to scarcity of prey”.
The villagers of affected Harinagar in Bageshwar cheered the killing and gave the teacher-cum-hunter a royal treatment by garlanding him and other forest staff.
Whenever any leopard/tiger cause harm to human life, the forest department approaches shooters to eliminate the man-eater. Rawat, who uses a .315 rifle, has brought end of terror in many wildlife affected areas.
The Bageshwar man-eater became active this year and made its first kill on 13 March by mauling young Karan. Deepak became the second victim of the feline on 11 June.
The incidents turned the situation hostile with affected villagers expressing their anger and setting fire in the forest. To quell the anger of the Harinagar residents the forest department declared the leopard a man-eater and invited Lakhapat Rawat for shooting the dangerous man-eater. Rawat executed the operation to turn life normal at Harinagar.
Lakhapat Rawat accidentally became a wildlife specialized shooter. In 2000, a leopard created terror in Gairsain, the village where Rawat resides. Despite involving many hunters the forest department failed to get rid of the jungle cat.
As the animal had killed one student of his school, Rawat approached the forest requesting them to issue him the permit to kill the man-eater. Recalling the incident Lakhapat says, “I manage to obtain the permit in August 2001. As the leopard had become too clever, and never returned to the body after making the kill, the task was tough. I was finally successful in shooting the man-eater after eight months hard work during a night patrol.”
With 50 kills in 17 years, Rawat has brought peace in many affected villages. A true grassroots hero in Uttarakhand Himalayas.