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Monday, April 23, 2012

Missing forest labourer found killed by tiger

TNN | Apr 22, 2012, 01.10AM IST NAGPUR: The mystery of the missing forest worker from Bor was solved as remains of his body were found within the radius of 500 metres of a water hole near Chinchkhori. Sitaram Wadwe, a permanent forest labourer (van majoor) posted in Pendhri beat of Bor wildlife sanctuary was attacked and eaten by a tigress. Wadwe had gone missing on Friday. As soon as news about Wadwe going missing spread, a group of 35 villagers and forest officials led by Bor assistant conservator of forests (ACF) Uttam Sawant started a combing operation at 6pm. The operation continued up to midnight, but till then, nothing but faint evidences of a tiger attack like scarf, slipper and some hair of the victim were found. The search operation began again on Saturday morning around 7am. Around 10.30am, Wadwe's skull was found. A Ashraf, chief conservator of forests (CCF) and field director, Pench Tiger Reserve, led the search after 9am. He said, "We also found Wadwe's pants in which the keys to his vehicle were found." Nearly the whole body was eaten by the tiger as only a few body parts of the deceased could be found by the search party. His remains have been sent to Selu primary health centre for post mortem. "His family will be receiving Rs four lakh as compensation and an additional Rs 50,000 from Pench Conservation Foundation. His wife will be considered for employment in forest department on compassionate grounds," Ashraf said. Wadwe, along with two other van majoors, had gone to fill a water hole at 10am on Friday near Chinchkhori. As he was on his bike, he asked his colleagues to proceed, saying he would follow them after filling the water hole and cut the tall grass near the spot. A tigress and her cubs were being constantly sighted near the water hole. Despite knowing this, Wadwe went into the area alone. It is possibly not an incident of a tiger attacking humans. "Wadwe was in a crouching position and the attack happened from behind. It is quite possible that the tiger mistook him for a prey and attacked him," Ashraf said.

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