Leopard terror grips Mandi
SHIMLA, 27 JULY: Recent incidents of leopard attacks have put the residents of villages in the Seraj subdivision of Mandi district in panic. A 26-year-old girl was attacked while at field close to her home and was dragged for 15 metres before being killed. Another woman Mani Devi (55) was caught and dragged for about 50 metres across a field from the verandah of her house and eventually killed. 
Two other women have also been attacked by the same beast. They are now under treatment. 
Seraj MLA Jairam Thakur has reportedly called on Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, following protests by angry residents who blocked roads and gheraoed the SDM. 
Under Mr Singh&’s orders, a seven-member team of hunters from the wildlife department was dispatched to the villages to kill the leopard. 
According to Forest department officials, who are camping in the area, the leopard appears to be “a male adult as the post-mortem reports of the victims suggest”. Traps have been laid and digital cameras have been installed in strategic positions to keep track of its movements. sns
Mining notices
PANAJI, 27 JULY: Goa mines and geology department has issued notices to 40 mining firms asking them to pay royalties amounting to Rs 34 crore, which it says was due after the final assessment for financial year 2012-13. Director of mines and geology Prasanna Acharya said the royalty was calculated after considering the value of minerals declared by Indian Bureau of Mines for FY13. pti
Mettur dam

CHENNAI, 27 JULY: With the storage in the Mettur Dam, the lifeline of Cauvery Delta farmers in Tamil Nadu, improving in the wake of copious inflows from Karnataka, water will be released for irrigation from 12 August, exactly two months behind the regular date, to benefit 12 lakh acres of land. Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa expressed joy that water would be released to enable farmers take up the long-term Samba crop. pti
Malala solidarity
Kottayam, 27 JULY: Students and staff of Mahatma Gandhi University observed the Malala Yousafai Solidarity day, pledging their support to the 16-year Pakistani girl&’s campaign to ensure equality in education and opportunity. pti