I had to save him even if my life was lost, says Aqib Javed

Budgam, Mar 19: In a daring act of bravery, a twelve-year-old boy risked his life to rescue his younger brother from a leopard attack in central Kashmir’s Budgam district.

The incident happened as the two brothers were playing cricket in their yard during iftar time on Monday evening.

“We were playing when suddenly I saw something moving suspiciously near our house. Before I knew it, the leopard pounced on my little brother,” recounted Aqib Javed, a fourth-grade student, speaking with the news agency.

With no time to spare and his hands empty, Aqib acted instinctively. “I had to save him, he’s my brother,” he said. “I grabbed a ball from my pocket and threw it at the leopard, hitting its eye and diverting its attention away from my brother.”

The situation remained dire as the leopard prepared to attack again, but Aqib’s friend intervened. “My friend threw a brick at the leopard, and we made a lot of noise which attracted people, and together we scared the leopard away,” Aqib recounted.

Reflecting on the incident, Aqib expressed relief that his brother’s life was spared. “I feared the worst, especially after imagining the leopard attacking a girl last week in this same village in which she lost her life.”

However, the family struggled to get help due to the lack of network facilities in their village. “We couldn’t reach the driver to take my brother to the hospital,” the family said, adding that they face difficulties due to the non-availability of a network facility.

“We’re scared to even step outside. We need the government to ensure we have network facilities and traps to catch these leopards,” they appealed.

Villagers appreciated Aqib for his courageous act. They called for taking care of the kids and not letting them venture out, especially during the evening.(KNO)