File picture: Anindito Mukherjee / Reuters.

New Delhi - India's biggest carmaker Maruti Suzuki halted production at one of its plants near the national capital on Thursday after a leopard was spotted on the premises. 

A senior official said that the leopard was caught on one of the closed-circuit TV cameras installed at the carmaker's factory in Manesar, 50km from Delhi, on Thursday. "The morning shift at the plant has been cancelled to avoid any kind of untoward incident. And hundreds of workers have been sent home," the official said. 

Meanwhile, wildlife officials have launched a major hunt to track down the leopard at the Manesar plant, which is in the neighboring state of Haryana.

"A seven-member team is on the job. They are equipped with tranquilisers to calm the leopard down and rescue it," local wildlife conservator Vinod Kumar told the media. 

Manesar is in the vicinity of the Aravalli mountains and wildlife officials say the leopard could have come from the forests on the foothills of the mountains. 

"The big cat has probably come down from the Aravalli forests. We will try to rescue it and release it in the forests," said another wildlife official. 

Xinhua