In Pictures: Kashmir’s other conflict
Man-animal conflict is on the rise in the Indian-administered region with losses on both sides.
The northern Indian city of Meerut has been in the news recently with a prowling leopard from a nearby forest triggering panic among its residents.
The authorities deployed hunters to track down the cat, but the search yielded no result with the leopard remaining elusive.
But Meerut isn’t alone in living in fear. Man-animal conflict is on the rise in many parts of the country, including Indian-administered Kashmir.
Every year, about 35 people are killed and hundreds injured in attacks by wild animals in the region.
There have been cases of unsuspecting children being dragged away to their death by the animals.
Locals have responded by attacking animals that stray into human habitations.
Loss of forest cover is worsening the crisis and increasingly pitting man against animal. In the past few decades, some 40 percent of the area classified as “thick forests” have degraded into open forests.
As man and animal cross paths frequently, the consequences are often deadly, and invariably bloody, as photographer Abid Bhat finds out.