Monday, September 26, 2011

Chhattisgarh villagers pound Maharashtra tigress to death

Vijay Pinjarkar & Supriya Sharma, TNN Sep 25, 2011, 08.19am IST

NAGPUR/RAIPUR: In perhaps the first case of revenge killing of its kind, a tigress around 4-5 years old was beaten to death with stones and sticks on Saturday afternoon by a mob of over 5,000 people in Bhakru Tola near Bamni in Chhattisgarh.

The spot is about 6km from the Maharashtra border. There are possibilities that it is the same problem tigress which was captured from Umargunda talao in Brahmapuri (Chandrapur district) range on April 3 and released in Navegaon National Park on June 12 after treatment. Navegaon falls in Gondia district of Maharashtra and shares the border with Chhattisgarh.

Forest officials are issuing very guarded statements now. AK Saxena, additional principal chief conservator of forests (APCCF), Nagpur (East), said: "Unless we ascertain the facts, it is difficult to tell if it is the same." "The only fact that can be confirmed is that the killed animal is a tigress," said SV Ramarao, deputy conservator of forests, Gondia division very matter-of-factly. After six hours of being pounded by stones, when the bloodied tigress finally collapsed in a heap, a delirious cry broke out in the village. The villagers even took out a victory procession to celebrate the killing and refused to hand over the carcass to forest officials. The spot falls in Naxal-infested Churia forest range under Rajnandgaon division. TOI got to hear two versions of the incident. Some villagers spotted the tigress in a nullah at 6am on Saturday.

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