Villagers demand redeployment of forest guard who shot tigress in Almora

Published on Nov 19, 2022 05:20 PM IST

According to the villagers, the people of Marchula and adjoining areas were reeling under the fear of big cats attacks for a long time

Villagers lifted the forest guard on their shoulder in front of senior officers (HT Photo)
Villagers lifted the forest guard on their shoulder in front of senior officers (HT Photo)
ByMohan Rajput

A tigress was shot and killed in the Marchula of Uttarkhand’s Almora district by a forest guard on Monday following which he was suspended from his post.

Forest guard Dheeraj Singh Rawat allegedly shot an 8-year-old tigress after she entered the Marchula market in the Sult block of Almora district on Monday evening, triggering panic in the area.

Following the incident, the official was booked under Wildlife Protection Act 1972. He was removed from the Mandal range as a guard, a forest official said.

Further, a magisterial probe has also been set up in addition to the departmental probe into the death of the tigress.

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However, the villagers came in support of the forest guard and demanded the withdrawal of action against him further seeking his redeployment in the Mandal range.

Neeraj Sharma, divisional forest officer, Kalagarh forest divisions said, “Action against forest guard has been taken as per the instruction of higher authorities. Departmental, as well as, magisterial probes have been set up into the death of the tigress. Villagers are furious over the action but we have pacified them and asked them to cooperate.”

According to the villagers, the people of Marchula and adjoining areas were reeling under the fear of big cats attacks for a long time.

Amit Rawat, a social activist from Marchula said, “Forest guard saved us the big cat. How we can tolerate action against him? We are in his support and we demand the withdrawal of action.”

Villagers are spending sleepless nights due to fear of big cats, he said. According to the villagers, a few days back, a tiger killed a woman in Jamariya village and injured several others.

The agitators also gheraoed DFO Sharma on Friday during his visit to Marchula and demanded the withdrawal of the action and redeployment of the guard in the Mandal range.

Moreover, the villagers garlanded and lifted the forest guard on their shoulders in front of the senior officers when Rawat was called before them on Friday.

Mohit Negi, a resident of Marchula said, “People here are not sending their children to school due to big cat menace. Forest authorities should take concrete steps to control big cats roaming in the area.”

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