A leopard which went astray into a city in eastern India has killed one man, scalped another one and injured other three people before authorities tranquilised it.

Residents in Gauhati said the big cat attacked a 50-year-old lawyer as he talked on his mobile phone outside his home, The Daily Telegraph reported.

He was rushed to hospital but later died. All the other victims survived.

The animal was tranquilised after two hours and taken to the state zoo.

"We were shocked and stunned to find the leopard inside the house. Soon, the cat started attacking," Nipu Das, who witnessed the attack, told the IANS news agency.

Traffic had to be diverted and panicked crowds fled the scene. Authorities said the leopard came from the jungle surrounding Guwahati.

Similar incidents have been reported in the northern states of Jammu, Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana in recent months.

Experts say that wild animals are encroaching on towns and cities more because of the extensive deforestation around Indian cities.