NTCA takes cognisance of shooting of T1 tigress

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 05 Nov 2018 09:24:40


By Ramesh Marulkar,

It is likely to hold meeting today to discuss various aspects, including violation of SOP

National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) is likely to hold a meeting at Delhi on Monday to discuss the issue of shooting T1 tigress, compliance of standard operative procedure, field conditions, various factors and other related aspects, said reliable sources.

It will also go through the post mortem, forensic, ballistic test reports etc to be made available shortly. If confirmed about sufficient evidence about violation then NTCA, a regulatory body, can conduct enquiry into T1 tigress shooting case. It cannot remain unreasonably suspicious about the State version and hence it will collect solid evidence to enable it to order enquiry, they added.

NTCA, Delhi and Nagpur offices, had instructed the Chief Wildlife Warden about SOP compliance time to time. Similarly, the Chief Conservator of Forest, Yavatmal, had also strictly told Nawab Shafath Ali Khan, the sharp shooter, to follow the guidelines. Moreover, Dr Rajaram Singh, Assistant Inspector General of Forest, NTCA, had visited Pandharkawda and issued instructions about tranquilising the problem tigress and shooting as last option. Ramzan Virani, a representative of NTCA, was also deployed there during search operation.

NTCA will get exact information from Asghar Ali Khan, son of the Nawab, who shot dead the tigress, and other three staff members who were in the vehicle at that time. The corroborative evidence like drug delivery in body will get after urine and blood tests. This will help know whether Asghar fired dart through tranquilising gun first and then shot her in self defence. Wildlife activists claim a fake encounter was staged.

There is controversy about planting the dart in the body after death of the tigress and that Asghar directly shot her dead.  Sources informed that it was found suspicious during post mortem that the dart had not pierced into the muscle and was in slanting position.

In fact, the tranquilising teams made no efforts to tranquilise the animal because it remained elusive for about 50 days of the operation, except for once with her two cubs. This was the second time when the tigress was seen late Friday night to the team on Borati-Warud-Ralegaon Road. As per the professional ethics, tranquilisation is not done after sunset and hence the question remains as to how Asghar fired dart during night time in absence of a veterinarian. This clearly means that the teams had got no opportunity earlier to tranquilise the animal. One can understand some failed attempts to tranquilise her but direct brutally murdering T1 tigress would amount to violation of the Supreme Court order.

Meanwhile, a retired forest officer said that NTCA should be sensitised and remembered its role in tiger conservation by ensuring that none of the SOP’s is overrided without its permission in dealing with problem tigers. But if happens then it should initiate legal action against such people and authorities. In the case of T1 tigress, NTCA should either endorse the legality of killing her or take initiative against the violators, he added.


2 cubs of T1 tigress not spotted

Forest Department deployed ten teams on Sunday to trace the orphan two cubs of T1 tigress but they were not successful. They checked 52 Pressure Impression Pads for pug-marks and 102 camera traps for pictures but in vain. Later, tracking team was also sent to jungle for conducting foot patrolling. The team has made available food for cubs in jungle to attract them. The tranquilising operation could not be conducted as the cubs remained elusive, informed P G Rahurkar, Chief Conservator of Forest, Yavatmal.

Meanwhile, reliable sources said that if the orphan cubs were not captured within a week they would die of starvation or they would attack easy prey like goat or human being. This is again problem because the authorities could term them as ‘man-eater’ and issue shoot-at-sight order. The PCCF and APCCF should remain at Pandharkawda till capturing of the cubs because just killing T1 Tigress was not the intended operation, they wanted.