Villagers in Uttar Pradesh’s Dudhwa mowed down a tigress and beat her to death after it purportedly killed a 50-year-old man in the tiger reserve, officials said. Dudhwa Tiger Reserve field director Ramesh Kumar Pandey said the accused will be penalised, Hindustan Times reported.
The incident follows the Maharashtra forest department’s killing of tigress Avni, who was believed to be a “man-eater”, on Friday. Union minister Maneka Gandhi on Sunday said the shooting of Avni was “patently illegal” and a “ghastly murder”. She vowed to take up the matter with her Bharatiya Janata Party colleague, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
The locals in Dudhwa also beat up forest guards and took over their tractor to mow down the tigress, The Times of India reported. “The tigress had attacked the victim, who was trespassing the forest area, which is an offence,” Pandey said. “We will also book all the accused for attacking forest staff, looting the forest department’s property and misusing it for killing the tigress. I have informed the principal chief conservator of forests.”
Fifty-year-old Devanand succumbed to his injuries while being treated at a hospital on Sunday.
Unidentified officials told The Times of India that Chaltua villagers, who reside inside the reserve, had refused past offers to relocate because of their “dependence on forest produce”.
“The carcass of the tigress has been recovered and the autopsy will be carried out under the National Tiger Conservation Authority guidelines on Monday,” Mahavir Kaujlagi, deputy director of the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, told the Hindustan Times said.