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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 August 2006, 13:04 GMT 14:04 UK
Delhi metro in monkey business
By Geeta Pandey
BBC News, Delhi

Delhi street monkey
Monkeys have become a major nuisance in Delhi
The Delhi Metro authorities say they have employed a large black-faced langur monkey to frighten away other monkeys who were worrying passengers.

The monkey was kept on leash for a month at one of Delhi's biggest stations in the Kashmere Gate area. Its owner was paid $150 for its services.

The step was taken after a couple of incidents in June when monkeys boarded the trains, scaring passengers.

Thousands of simians roam the streets and are considered a public nuisance.

Sat in a corner

A spokesman for the Delhi Metro Rail, Anuj Dayal, said that in one incident, a monkey boarded a train at Chandni Chowk station and travelled some 3.5 km to the Civil Lines station before alighting.

"It just sat in a corner, but people were frightened so we got the coach vacated and after a while it just left."

Monkeys are considered sacred by Hindus and they usually hang around tourist areas. The devout feed them bananas and peanuts, but when not supplied with food, they attack people and steal food.

Government and large companies in Delhi generally hire the langurs to keep them off their buildings.

A large number of monkeys have been captured from the city streets and they are now being kept in large cages just outside of Delhi.

But as no other state in India wants the captured animals, their future is yet to be decided.

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