Women take up arms to fight monkeys in Lucknow

December 2nd, 2008 - 12:12 pm ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, Dec 2 (IANS) Fed up with the monkey menace in the Uttar Pradesh capital, homemakers here have taken up arms to scare them away.With an estimated population of 3,000 monkeys roaming in various residential areas of this city of three million, women in at least four areas of Lucknow have started using air guns and pistols to shoo them away.

According to state forest officials, they have trapped 83 monkeys from various areas of the city during the past few months. But the forest department actually went into action only after a three-year-old boy fell off his terrace while desperately attempting to save himself from being mauled by a pack of monkeys Nov 1.

“Last week monkeys ransacked my kitchen and even tried to bite my three-year-old daughter,” Sarita Rai of Aliganj said. “My husband purchased an air shotgun for me.”

“They came again one day and when I shot at them, they smartly took cover. But they ran away and never came back,” she said. “I have perfected my shooting skill now.”

Savita Pathak, a resident of Indiranagar, adopted the same technique to keep the monkeys at bay. “We are also planning to file public interest litigation in the high court,” she said.

“We have called a number of times on the helpline started by the forest department but we were told that they had only two monkey-catchers. So we had to tackle the problem on our own,” she added.

Those dealing in air guns and pistols have started doing brisk business. “As per our record, about 200 air guns have been sold in the past one month,” Shaad Ali, who owns an arms shop in the city, told IANS.

Shopkeepers have procured a variety of air guns to serve all purposes.

“Besides the normal guns and pistols, we have stocked guns with laser-aiming devices,” he added.

The forest department claims to be making more efforts to curb the menace. “Our teams are always on the vigil and keep visiting the areas after we receive a complaint. We are planning to rope in experts,” divisional forest officer (Lucknow) Ashok Mishra said.

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