Area of Aarey chopper crash is a leopard site, with only 2 bulbs to spot them

Updated: Dec 14, 2016, 10:21 IST | Aparna Shukla

Two 250 watt bulbs are all that the security personnel guarding the Rs 1.2-crore helicopter, which crashed at Filterpada in Aarey Colony on Sunday, have to spot any suspicious movement

Two 250 watt bulbs are all that the security personnel guarding the Rs 1.2-crore helicopter, which crashed at Filterpada in Aarey Colony on Sunday, have to spot any suspicious movement. The area has a high concentration of leopards, but that hasn’t deterred a steady stream of visitors from turning up to gawk at the wreckage, say locals. Not only is the evidence in danger of being lost or tampered with, but the situation also puts the lives of police personnel and aviation officials deputed to the spot in jeopardy.

"Leopards come in from units 25 and 26 of Aarey and Sai Bangwada, straight into Filterpada almost every other day. Just a few days ago, a local sustained grievous injuries in a leopard attack," says Shaakir Sheikh, a resident of Filterpada.

The patch to the right of the crash site comprising dense forests and a hamlet on a hilltop reportedly fall within the leopard corridor. Some locals say the crash site, too, is often visited by the big cats.

Haidar Khan, a Filterpada resident and car driver, says he has been spotting leopards in his neighborhood for years. "Two bulbs at the site are not enough. Stronger lights and tighter security are needed as leopards could spring a surprise visit."

The nine police personnel deputed to the crash site, however, feel that the lighting is adequate to spot leopards or any suspicious movement.

Devidas Naik, inspector of Aarey police station, says, "We have rifles to be used in an emergency. The lights in the area are sufficient. We should be fine."

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