Panic grips villagers as man-eater on prowl in Madhya Pradesh
BHOPAL: The attack on a middle-aged villager by man-eater
tiger triggered panic among Baigas living in the buffer zone of Bandhavgarh
National Park (BNP) in Umaria and Katni districts of Madhya Pradesh.
Gareeba Baiga, a 49-year-old man of Checheria village
in Umaria district, is the latest victim of the tiger on the prowl. He was
attacked by a tiger while grazing goats. The feline tried to drag him to the
forest, but was saved by villagers who gathered in large numbers after hearing
his cries for help.
Angry villagers stormed a forest office, demanding
protection and compensation for families of the injured. They deflated tyres of
all vehicles of forest department, demanded on the spot compensation and
intervention of top officials. They also attacked a ranger with canes besides taking
three other employees hostage. The national park officers pleaded them to watch
out for the ferocious animal and avoid forests.
The tiger has been on the prowl across an area
spanning some 60 miles, they said. Police arrested three people for instigating
villagers against forest officials.
Wildlife enthusiast Pusphendra Nath Dwivedi said the
tiger must have strayed out of the park in search of prey. “There is widespread
anger among villagers,” he said.
Earlier, a 45-year-old man was mauled by three tigers
in buffer zone of the park in Katni district late on Sunday night. The deceased
was identified as Ramdas Baiga, a resident of Baghdhari village. He had left
his home at 5.30 pm in search of a missing buffalo towards Khatoli range and
did not return. The tigers ate him leaving behind mutilated skull.
Irked villagers blocked the national highway demanding
compensation for the deceased’s family. Forest department announced a
compensation of Rs 10,000 to family of the tribal.