This blog is a humble contribution towards increasing awareness about problems being faced wrt Tiger Conservation in India. With the Tiger fast disappearing from the radar and most of us looking the other way the day is not far when the eco system that supports and nourishes us collapses. Citizen voice is an important tool that can prevent the disaster from happening and this is an attempt at channelising the voice of concerned nature lovers.
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Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Madhya Pradesh forest minister rules out new action plan to save big cats
ByManjari Mishra, TNN | Feb 26, 2013, 04.48 AM IST
Livestock are easy prey for big cats of Nagarahole Tiger ReserveNew plan to protect tigers in KarnatakaElectrocution of tigers seizes Maharashtra government's attentionThirsty tigers needn't worryJayalalithaa's action plan is commendable
KATNI: Madhya Pradesh forest minister Sartaj Singh has ruled out any new action plan to save tigers from poachers in Katni-Bandhavgarh region till an official probe was completed. He was replying to a question about the safety of big cats in Katni after a tiger was found electrocuted from a farm land in Kuan village 45 kilometers off Badhavgarh national park on Monday morning.
Forest officials are meanwhile trying to shrug off any responsibility by playing the usual jurisdiction game.
With three tigers and a leopard killed by poachers during the last three months, Katni is truly living up to its reputation of being the national tiger graveyard.
According to eyewitnesses account, villagers raised an alarm after spotting a tiger sprawled in a patch of uncultivated land near Muchmucha forest area in the morning. When the animal did not move despite the commotion, they suspected something fishy and inching closer discovered the animal was dead, claimed Santosh Kumar Tiwari.
Tiwari, who is the owner of the field where the body was found denied having anything to do with the incident and blamed it to "the complicity between forest officials and mafia. We had been citing this tiger for more than a month and it was reported to local officials but no one bothered to take any action. This gave the poachers enough time to plan the killing, he said.
Tiwari pointed to a GI rusted wire which was carefully laid on the ground to trap the tiger and connected to the high tension 11000 KV wire in the nearby electrical poll. Since wire was hidden behind a tree the mischief could not be detected by anyone, said Tukaram a resident of Barahi, who had thronged the site with villagers.
However, chief conservator forest Katni M K Khan denied possibility of tiger poaching. Talking to reporters, Khan said that the trap could have been laid for wild boar or a deer. The officer also tried to escape any responsibility by declaring that the land did not come within the jurisdiction of forest department and was revenue area.
Meanwhile experts suspect the hand of an organized gang behind these successive killings. On November 18 a tigress was killed in Bagdara village which is part of Bandhavgarh reserve forest. It was instantly electrocuted along with the prey- a cow - as both came in contact with a live wire which hung low.
On December 22, another tiger fell prey to an electric trap laid by poachers in Jugia village. And even then the forest officials insisted that tiger death was accidental as the trap was laid for wild boars. The incident had led to suspension of two beat guards.
Surprisingly no senior official has been held accountable for these deaths, Ajay Dubey wild life activist said as he demanded the scalp of the "well connected nexus of big wigs in the department" they have done it in Panna, he said, now with their morale high they are doing it in Bandhavgarh and getting away with it while the government looks the other way.