A 72-year-old man was “stoned to death” by a gang of monkeys as he was collecting pieces of dry wood for a fire ceremony in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh on Thursday (Oct 18), Indian media report.
The incident happened near an old, abandoned building inhabited by simians at Tikri village in Baghpat district.
A gang of monkeys gathered bricks from the building, climbed a tall tree that stood nearby and dropped some 20-odd bricks on Dharampal Singh as he was collecting pieces of wood from the ground under it, said his brother Krishnapal Singh.
Dharampal died in a hospital while being treated for serious head and chest injuries.
Krishnapal later went to the local police station to file a complaint against the rogue monkeys demanding action against them.
But police were not ready to register a complaint as they treated it as an accident.
Circle inspector Ramala Rajiv Pratap Singh told news agency PTI a different version of the incident. Dharampal was sleeping near a pile of bricks when some monkeys jumped on them from a height. The bricks came down on Dharampal leaving him seriously injured.
Local police inspector Chitwan Singh said even if Krishnapal’s version of the incident is true, police cannot register a case against monkeys which are a protected species. Hence, the demand for action against the rogue monkeys makes no sense, Singh said.
Krishnapal is planning to approach senior police officials seeking action against the simians.
Monkey menace is rampant in high rise apartments mushrooming in the outskirts of Indian cities. The simians move in groups, enter homes through balcony doors, which owners often forget to close, and ransack them.
They wait outside temples, near railway tracks and kiosks for bananas offered by pilgrims, travellers and customers. Many Indians love and revere them.
Hindus worship Hanuman, the ‘vaanar’ (semi-ape, semi-man) god, who symbolises strength, self-control, faith, devotion, and service to a cause. Thousands of temples are dedicated to Lord Hanuman across the country.