Worried at leopard spotting, ITC sends people on campus home

Bengaluru City

ITC in Bengaluru on Tuesday declared a holiday after a leopard was spotted in and around its campus at Chikkajala, on Bengaluru’s outskirts.

People around the campus are worried about the animal being inside the campus. Rumours form a major part of  the information being shared.

Three  civil workers who work for ITC informed The Observer: “For two days, we are on holiday. Today a few workers have been called to the office, but yesterday the entire office was closed. This is the second time the leopard has come inside ITC.”

A civil worker who did not want to be named shared: “OnMonday around 1.30 in the afternoon,  a worker  named Raghu was the first person to spot the leopard when he went to check on a borewell reading. Raghu reported the same to his higher authority. When  ITC scanned its CCTV cameras, they confirmed the presence of the leopard inside the company campus.”

Sanjay, an ITC employee, said: “We were called for work. A few other department workers are still on leave. Security guards are present everywhere and ensuring the safety of workers. We are not allowed to walk freely. We avoided the forest area where the cage is installed.”

The Observer noticed there were few vehicles and the parking space was empty.

Narayana Murthy, a member of one the civil workers’ group, said: “Our salary will be cut for the holidays announced by the company after the incident. If the holidays continue, it will be really tough for our lives. Hopefully, the forest team captures the leopard.”

When The Observer tried to talk to security persons at ITC, they said there is no leopard inside the campus.

At Tharabanahalli, a village very close to the ITC campus, there is no panic.

Rekhela, a teacher at the Tharabanhalli Government Higher Primary School, said: “We are aware about the leopard in ITC. As a precautionary measure, we have cancelled the extra classes which were held for weak students, so that all students leave in groups at the same time and reach home safely.”

Farmers at the weekly Thursday market in Chikkajala said: “We heard about the leopard. We are scared but can’t stop doing our work. We also heard that the forest department is inside ITC trying to capture the leopard. We are all fine here.”

Somashekar, another farmer said: “This is all fake news. There is no leopard. I am not scared of anything.”

Ramakrishana Reddy, inspector, Chikkajala police station, said: “We have nothing to do here. We are aware that ITC had spotted a leopard on its campus. I have spoken to the forest department. They have installed another cage to capture the leopard. Now there are two cages inside the campus. There is no panic among humans. We will wait for the leopard to be captured.”

According to a TOI report, almost a week after a leopard was found preying on livestock in south Bengaluru, forest officials on Wednesday reported that another big cat as spotted near Chikkajala on the road to Kempegowda International Airport.


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