Maharashtra forest minister Sudhir Mungantiwar ordered the forest department that the tigress, who killed three villagers near Sindewahi, bordering the famous Tadoba tiger reserves in Chandrapur district, be shot at sight.
The tigress has killed three women — Meerabai Chowdhuri, 60, on January 13, Babita Mendhe on January 22 and Manda Dandekar (both from Shivni village) on January 25. The tigress has also hurt several villagers since October last year.
The villagers, who are gripped with fear after several attacks, had urged the authorities to kill the big cat, otherwise they would do it themselves.
Mungantiwar, who is from Chandrapur district, said he had already told the forest department to issue a shoot-at-sight order against the tigress.
A senior official of the state forest headquarters said, “Although the tigresses was blamed for killing three people and injuring several villagers around Sindewahi, our priority would be to tranquilise her and then capture her. If it fails, the last resort would be to shoot her.”
Meanwhile, several villagers and forest officials jointly launched a search operation in the area to locate the big cat. Besides, senior forest officials are camping at Sindewahi and assessing the situation.
Earlier, the commandos of elite anti-Maoist C-60 squad from Gadchiroli shot down a problematic tiger that killed seven villagers in Chandrapur district in 2014. The state wildlife wing had issued a shoot-at-sight order to kill the tiger.
The forest department had issued the order after the then BJP legislator Sudhir Mungantiwar (now Maharashtra forest minister) had launched an agitation against the forest department for its failure to either kill or tranquilise the tigress.