Residents of a village in Maharashtra's Aurangabad district are living under constant fear as nearly 300 monkeys have been on a rampage, attacking people and damaging their crops and homes.
Locals say monkeys have been inhabiting the Upla village since long, but their attacks have gone up in the past few months.
When contacted, a senior forest department official here told PTI on Thursday that they have not received any complaint about monkeys from the village so far. "If we receive any complaint, we will act on it," the official said.
The tiny village, located in Sillod taluka, has around 1,600 residents, but most of them are forced to stay indoors because of the monkey menace.
Women and children in the village are scared as the apes enter home kitchens, pick up chapattis (flat flour bread), snatch food from people's hands and when resisted, they attack the villagers.
A woman from the village said she received severe injuries when a monkey attacked her a couple of years ago.
Another resident said, "Crops of many farmers have been damaged by the gang of monkeys, who move around in large groups. People are scared to even walk in the village."
Upla's sarpanch (village head) Meerabai Suradkar said monkeys have been living in the village since several years.
"But, their number and nuisance has now gone up. There are nearly 300 monkeys in the village. They have broken roofs of many houses," she said.
Asked from where the monkeys come to the village, she said, "There is no forest near our place, but there are some hills around 20-30 km from here."
Another local said monkeys have been eating cotton and maize at farms in the village and have damaged several crops.
"They have also damaged vehicles. Tin roofs of many houses in the village have also been damaged," he said.
A woman from the village said while she carries chapattis for her family members working at their farm, the monkeys snatch the food. "If we try to drive them away, they attack us," she added.