Tiger kills man in Melghat
25 Aug 2008, 0534 hrs IST, Vijay Pinjarkar,TNN
NAGPUR: It is not just the Brahmapuri Forest Division in Chandrapur district, where the endangered tiger is in conflict with humans. The phenomenon seems to be spreading to Melghat that has the oldest and biggest tiger reserve of the state. A teenage grazier was killed by a tiger in the dense forests in multiple use area (MUA), three kms from Chopan village in Chaurakund Forest Range of Melghat region in Amravati district.
The incident is reported to have occurred in the evening of August 21. However, the forest staff came to know of the incident on Saturday evening. The victim, Rajesh Dhikar, 17, had gone to graze his cattle in the forests near Chopan. Rajesh left his cattle and returned home for lunch. He again went to the forest to take back the cattle. However, by evening, although the cattle returned to the village on their own, Rajesh did not.
Worried family members thought that Rajesh might have gone to the adjoining Khopwar or Malur village as it had turned dark. However, as he did not return even by Sunday morning, they with other villagers launched a search for Rajesh. They found his badly mauled body in compartment number 601 in Chopan beat.
The villagers informed Chaurakund Forest Range about the incident following which Sipna divisional forest officer (DFO) Badge, RFO U N Dandale, forest guard S S Kharabe and staff from Dharni police station, which is around 40 kms from Chopan, reached the place and drew up the panchnama. Dandale’s family was paid a compensation of Rs 10,000. The remaining Rs 1.90 lakh of the Rs 2 lakh compensation will be paid after receipt of postmortem report and other formalities.
Forest officials claimed this was the second incident of a tiger killing a human being in Melghat. Six years ago, an old tiger had mauled one Hausilal Kasture of Chikhli in Harisal Forest Range. Experts say old tigers generally strayed near villages as they were mostly dependent on cattle. However, the Chopan killing does not appear to be by an old tiger.