Villagers claim that despite repeated requests to the district administration, there has been no respite. Making matters worse is the fact that these animals have been attacking village folk for over a month now. Amongst the victims were Aruna Hingde, Kunda Thakar and Shashikala Dhumal.
According to Rohidas Dhumal, a farm owner and a local leader, the area with 25 acres of farms is famous for its peanut and French bean cultivation. However, the monkeys have been damaging the crops for the last two years. Dhumal said, “Women are scared to go on their own farmlands as the herd chases them away and even try to bite them.”
Last week, when Shashikala Dhumal was on her way to her farm, she was attacked by a monkey. Her husband Shantaram Dhumal said, “A monkey charged on my wife and she cried for help, as few passers-by intervened and threatened the monkey with a stick, though the animal left but not before hurling stones at people.”
Kavita Rakshe, Sarpanch of Maan said, “The monkey menace continues each year but the administration has failed to act on this problem. Moreover there is constant fear as mostly women have been attacked and now they have stopped going to their fields.” Rakshe added that she had written to Mulshi Tehsildar’s office but that failed to result in a concrete solution. Hemant Nikam, Tehsildar of Mulshi Taluka refused to comment on the issue.