The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has pulled up forest department officials for their “callous attitude” and failing to keep an eye on a tiger killed last year for “sorcery.”
The Press Trust of India reports, in a letter to chief wildlife warden, the NTCA has sought a detailed report on the matter. It is unfortunate that a radio-collared tiger, which was to be intensively monitored, was poached for witchcraft at the Satpura Tiger Reserve, it said.
“The incident reflects callous attitude of frontline staff towards tiger conservation which is further visible in non-compliance of this Authority’s Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) on the subject,” said the letter, a copy of which was received in response to an RTI query filed by wildlife activist Ajay Dubey.
According to forest officials, the tiger was killed in August last year for witchcraft by a government school teacher working in Chhindwara and others under the influence of a sorcerer, who promised them fast money by performing rituals sitting on a tiger skin. They then allegedly killed the big cat.
The case is being probed by a special task force of Madhya Pradesh forest department. They had in October seized the skin of the big cat. The NTCA had sought a report from the state government on the incident last year but was not satisfied with it. So, it has now sought a detailed report from the state’s forest department.
“The unfortunate incident shows forest officials’ apathy towards conservation of tiger. We have been demanding setting up of a special tiger protection force to check poaching but the state government is yet to take any step. This matter needs to be investigated and culprits be swiftly punished,” said Dubey.
WCCLAS News Staff