from Yahoo news:
Thieving monkeys 'out of control' in northeast India
Sat Nov 17, 2007
GUWAHATI, India (AFP) - Troupes of monkeys are out of control in India's northeast, stealing mobile phones and breaking into homes to steal soft drinks from refrigerators, lawmakers in the region have complained.
"Monkeys are wreaking havoc in my constituency by taking away mobile phones, toothpastes, sipping coke after opening the refrigerators," Hiren Das told Assam state's assembly.
He said the primates were "even slapping women who try to chase them".
"It is a cause of serious concern in my area, with more than 1,000 such simians turning aggressive by the day," fumed Goneswar Das, another legislator representing Raha in eastern Assam.
Assam's wildlife minister, Rockybul Hussain, said the state government has formed a panel to study the problem.
Because of shrinking forest cover, monkeys have increasingly moved into cities elsewhere in India as well.
Last week, around two dozen people were hurt after monkeys rampaged through a New Delhi neighbourhood.
Last month, the deputy mayor of Delhi died when he fell from his balcony after being attacked by monkeys.
Efforts to drive out the animals is complicated by the fact that devout Hindus view them as an incarnation of Hanuman, the monkey god who symbolises strength.