Kathmandu, June 26, 2006 A leopard suddenly popped up in Dhapasi of the Dhapasi Village Development Committee-2 in Kathmandu and mauled four locals when they tried to hack it with khukuris this morning. An official from the Mahendra Nature Conservation Trust (MNCT) later tranquillised the leopard and took it to the Central Zoo at Jawalakhel. Amrit Man Shrestha of Dhapasi-2, Ratna Man Shrestha of Dhapasi-5, Dev Kumar Rai and Ratna Dev Shrestha of Dhapasi-3 were injured by the leopard, according to the police. Amrit has returned home after first aid at Sukraraj Tropical Hospital at Teku, whereas Ratnaman, Dev Kumar and Ratna Dev are still undergoing treatment in different hospitals, police said. Locals spotted the leopard early in the morning coming from the northern part of the village. “We decided to surround the leopard and kill it with khukuris,” said Narayan Shrestha, a villager. The locals managed to send the leopard into a maize field that was surrounded by a brick fence. “I was brushing my teeth at around 6:30 am when neighbours asked me to cut to chase and kill the leopard. I was one of those to enter the maize field and corner the animal. When we closed in, it leapt at me and bit me in my right leg,” said Amrit, who was first to be attacked by the leopard.

Absence of strategy stalks development While development experts have stressed on the role of an individual to boost socio-economic development of the country, they also underlined the need for the government to come out with a sound strategy document to ensure development activities take place across the country. Dr Shankar Sharma, former vice chairman of the National Planning Commission (NPC), talking from a development perspective, opined that the government should not miss this ‘opportune moment’ to work effectively in the development sector. In this liquid environment, the government has to come out with a ‘strategy document’ which is also being urged by donors, business community and people as a whole. Experts also underlined the need to expedite the development process with non-controversial issues such as health, drinking water, road, rural reconstruction and rehabilitation of displaced people with increased grants. Rajendra Pande, minister for local development, at a debate forum on ‘What is my next role for the country’ organised by the International Visitor Program Alumni Association (IVAAN) expressed his commitment for creating lasting peace without which development would not be possible. As we have just started the political transformation process, every individual has to contribute from his or her respective sectors to advance development activities.