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‘Man-eater’ kills 4 in Mysore, shoot-at-sight order issued (Dec.)


Indian Express, New Delhi, Thursday 5th December 2013

A shoot-at-sight order has been issued for a tiger suspected to have turned a man-eater and killed four people, including a forest department employee, since November 27 in a belt between the Bandipur and Nagarahole national parks in HD Kote taluk of Mysore district. The order came even as Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who hails from Mysore, asked the forest department to effectively tackle the problem.

Wednesday morning, the forest and police departments fired 29 rounds after reportedly spotting the tiger near Chikkabaragi village, where cattle grazer Basappa, 55, became its fourth victim on Tuesday. They opened fire after the tiger moved to attack a few forest department employee.

"We are not sure whether the bullets hit the tiger. Forest and police personnel are searching the area for the tiger. It has not been sighted since the morning encounter. The operation will continue," Inspector General of Police (southern range) K Ramachandra Rao said. "The Divisional Forest Officer and Chief Conservator of Forest informed higher officials about the incidents and obtained permission to issue the shoot-at-sight order. An order has been issued to trap or shoot the tiger. The forest department sought help and we have provided men for the operation."

An aging big cat in the Nagarahole-Bandipur area is suspected to be behind the series of attacks.

Farmer Basavaraju of Nadahadi village was the first to be killed on November 27. On November 29, cattle grazer Cheluva of Seegodi Haadi village was mauled and on November 30, forest department employee Suresh was killed. Following a fourth death on Tuesday, villagers in the region pelted stones at a Special Tiger Protection Force vehicle. They also barged into a forest department guest house and set it afire. Fearing that the situation could get out of hand, the department ordered the tiger to be shot.

The government has, meanwhile, announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh and a job each in the forest department to families of the victims.