Political pressure leads to killing of wrong tiger
New Delhi (PTI): Wildlife conservationists may be trying hard to save tigers in India but local politics sometimes throw a dampener in their efforts – as in Maharashtra where the wrong tiger was killed by the forest department, which allegedly acted in haste because of political pressure.
The case in point is of Bramhapuri forest in Chandrapur district of Maharashtra where a tiger, mistaken to be a man-eater, was killed by forest department officials under alleged political pressure last year.
This came to light in an RTI reply where it was mentioned that forest department had made a mistake by killing a male tiger instead of the man-eating menace which is a tigress.
As per the pug mark report given in the RTI reply, the pug marks of the man-eater did not match with the pug mark of the tiger that was killed.
People living around Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve in October 2007 complained of a tigress who was killing villagers in the area.
Repeated complaints in November 2007 prompted the forest department to start the hunt for the tigress which had killed several people and cattle last year. But the forest department failed to capture the man-eater.
Meanwhile, local politicians started putting pressure on the department to kill or capture the animal.
Replying to an RTI query by a Mumbai resident, Ajay Madhusudhan Marathe, who asked whether the action (of killing the tiger) was a result of any political pressure, forest department referred to letters from local politicians who had threatened to start agitation and even kill the tiger themselves.