Greater Noida: After 24 hours of the frantic search, the police team, engaged in the hunt for a fishing cat mysteriously surfaced in Greater Noida West in the early hours of Saturday, opted to withdraw from the operation on Sunday even as forest officials from three districts stayed put on the trail of the mystery cat.
Speaking to CitySpidey, Station House Officer (SHO) Manoj Pathak confirmed that the police team consisting of nine officers was withdrawn from the search operation for the mystery cat in the society of Gaur city where it was spotted in the intervening night of Friday and Saturday.
Dismissing the claim that the cat was a leopard, Pathak affirmed that it was a fishing cat. The pugmarks and CCTV footage, he said confirmed this. However, the man who saw the cat was not able to differentiate between the two species and hence the rumour spread like wildfire.
He speculated that the medium-sized cat must have left the premises before the police or forest officials reached the spot.
Saturday night saw JKG Palm society in Greater Noida's sector 16 C engulfed in fear and panic with many residents locked themselves inside their homes and not even a whisper heard in the passageway of the society.
Meanwhile, the forest officials are still waiting outside the society for the mystery creature. Devendra, a member of the search operation team, said, "We have sprinkled white chalk powder in the basement, in-and-around the society, but have found no footprints of any wild animal as yet."
"It has been more than 24 hours, but there is no trace of the animal. Tonight, we have decided to sprinkle white powder around water. If there is any wild animal, it will come out to drink water," he added.
Forest department teams from Ghaziabad, Noida, Delhi and Meerut have been deployed on the spot as the news about the incident transcended the district barriers.
As many as 15 traps have been laid inside the society, as also in other societies in the vicinity. Teams have been deployed ready with tranquiliser guns.