Centre constitutes two-member committee to probe Goa tiger killings
The tigers are suspected to have been poisoned by villagers after a cow and a buffalo were found killed in the jungle.Updated: Jan 09, 2020 00:26 IST
The Union Ministry of Environment and Forests has constituted a special team to probe the deaths of four tigers -- an adult tigress and three cubs -- who were poisoned to death in Golavali village in the Mhadei wildlife sanctuary in Goa.
In a notification, the MoEF said it has constituted a team comprising Rajendra Garawad from Bengaluru and the Regional Deputy Director of the Western Region Mumbai to inquiry into the case of the tiger deaths and coordinate a response by the state forest authorities and to suggest further legal course of action under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
The team has been directed to submit its report within seven days.
The Goa Forest Department with the help of the Goa Police has already arrested three persons -- Vitho Zipo Pawne, 60, Nalo Nago Pawne, 55, and Bomo Nago Pawne, 45, belonging to the Dhangar community who are accused of poisoning the family of four tigers to death.
Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant in a tweet said he was shocked and saddened by the death.
“The tragic incidents of tiger deaths are shocking and saddening. We will investigate and take stern action against the perpetrators. State authorities are working round the clock and three arrests have been made in this connection,” Sawant tweeted.
Earlier in the day, BJP Minister Vishwajit Rane in whose constituency the deaths have occurred, implored Union Minister of Forests Prakash Javadekar to depute an inquiry team from Delhi to get to the bottom of the killings.
“With reference to the two cubs that have been found dead at Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary, Sattari, I would request Union Minister for Forest Shri @PrakashJavdekar to intervene and send a central team to conduct a detailed investigation into the matter. Having a passion for wildlife, especially tigers, this incident in my constituency at Valpoi has taken me by shock. A thorough investigation into the matter is vital,” Rane tweeted.
“It is very important to stop such mishaps as it is our duty to conserve & protect wildlife,” he added.
Local environmental activist Rajendra Kerkar believes that the tigers were deliberately poisoned.
“In the last week of December one cow and a buffalo belonging to a Dhangar family was found killed and believed to have been claimed by the tiger. It is possible that the villagers poisoned the tiger because it was attacking the animals,” Kerkar said.
Forest officials believe that the villagers laced meat with a poisonous spray along the trail the wildcat was known to travel in a bid to kill it.
Kerkar, has however, also warned that since the claws of the first tiger were missing, it was possible that the people of the village were aware of their value and were also in touch with wildlife trophy traders.