‘Shoot-at-sight’ order for tiger after attack on woman

Villagers with personnel from Police and Forest Dept.  

The mutilated body of the 23-year-old pregnant home-keeper, who was taken away by a tiger, was found in Karagali village in the early hours on Thursday.

The woman, identified as Anjana Hanabar, was attacked by the tiger when she had gone to fetch water from a ‘nala’ flowing on the outskirts of Mudagai village under Jamboti forest range of Khanapur taluk on Wednesday evening.

The forest authorities, who have come under tremendous pressure from the angry villagers, issued “shoot-at-sight” orders after obtaining permission from the higher authorities. Public has also been given permission to hunt down the elusive tiger.

The tiger is stated to have caught the deceased’s neck, dragged her inside the forest area and eaten parts of face, neck, stomach and one of her legs.

The Forest Department has announced a compensation of Rs. 5 lakhs for the family of the deceased. Prakash B. Hukkeri, M.P., rushed to the spot and gave Rs. 2 lakhs from Chief Minister’s relief fund to the bereaved family.

This is the first case of a tiger hunting down a human being in Khanapur taluk and the possibility of it becoming a man-eater is not being ruled out.

Deputy Conservator of Forests, Ambadi Madhav said it was the same tiger which was captured near Pandaravalli village of Chikkamagaluru after it killed a woman and later released into Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary, near Talawade village of Khanapur on November 19 and attacked and killed a few cattle thereafter.

A tiger was also spotted around the campus of the Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU) at Machhe, about 14 kms from the city and on the outskirts of the adjoining villages of Tirthkunde, Santibastwad and Rankunded of Belagavi taluk between Sunday and Tuesday.

But the Forest Department failed to trace the tiger even as the villagers allegedly that no serious efforts was made to trap the wild cats straying into human habitats.

After confirming that the wild cat that killed Ms. Hanabar was a tiger and carrying out search operation till afternoon, the police and forest personnel winded up the hunt for the tiger after announcing that the tiger had returned to the wilds.

Angry protest

The villagers pelted stones at a group of police while they were eating and the Khanapur MLA Arvind Patil turned aggressive on Mr. Madhav.

The family of the deceased and villagers were angry seeing the personnel eating in front of the bereaving family and the spot where Ms. Hanabar was killed. The alleged incompetence of the personnel in tracing the tiger also angered them. However, Mr. Hukkeri pacified the villagers and assured that the elusive tiger was free to be killed by anybody.

Conflicting arguments

Noted wildlife expert, K. Ullas Karanth had suggested that the tiger captured near Padavaralli (a sub-adult tiger identified as Bhadra S5146 in his database) cannot be recaptured and kept in captivity as it posed the risk of it killing humans again. The forest officials here had ruled out that the wild cat was a man-eater. However, the forest officials could not immediately confirm whether the tiger that killed the young woman at Mudagai and Bhadra S5146 were same.

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Printable version | Oct 25, 2020 12:02:27 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/shootatsight-order-for-tiger-after-attack-on-woman/article6725146.ece

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