Kolkata: A Royal Bengal Tiger, known to be habitat of Sunderbans, was killed by villagers in Midnapore. The villagers killed the big cat with sharp implements. They hurled stones and stabbed the tiger to death. As the incident came ahead of the Panchayat elections, political blame game has already started. Opposition parties criticised Trinamool Congress pointing to the failure of the forest department.
Biman Bose, the left front chairman, said that it was a failure on the part of the forest department. “They should have prevented the tiger from being killed. I also fail to understand why they blame adivasis,” Bose told a TV channel. Binay Krishna Barman, West Bengal’s forest minister, said that it was a shock to see the tiger being killed by villagers. “From the very beginning we had been telling adivasis to stop their traditional hunting for the time being, but they did not listen to us. An inquiry has been ordered and guilty will be punished under the Wildlife Act. We cannot tolerate this because Royal Bengal Tiger is an endangered species,” said Barman.
The total number of Royal Bengal Tiger has gone down to around 1,900 five years back before increasing to around 2,200 last year. However, there are significant number of population of such tigers in Bangladesh’s part of Sunderbans and a few in Myanmar jungle. The murdered tiger was later cremated by the villagers. A procession was taken out by the villagers and the big cat was consigned to flames. A postmortem was done before that. The tiger, apparently fleeing from Simlipal forest, was found loitering in Junglemahal, once a Maoists citadel in Bengal. It travels from Lalgarh to Jharkgram and then to Bankura and Purulia at different times. The forest department has been trying to net the tiger for last two months by laying traps. The roaming tiger had created fear in the mind of people. But some people, however, went deep inside the forest and killed the tiger.