Forest issues order to kill tiger that mauled a man to death in Wayanad

Forest officials deployed in Sulthan Bathery. Photo: Screengrab/ Manorama News

Wayanad: The Forest Department has issued an order to tranquilise the tiger that killed a young farmer and ate him partially. However, the order issued by the principal chief conservator of forests and chief wildlife warden D Jayaprakash also gave the officer the directive to kill the animal in case it cannot be tranquilised and captured.

The order specifies that forest officials must first establish that the animal they capture is the same animal that killed Prajeesh, the young farmer. "If the animal cannot be captured or tranquilised, and it is established as a man-eater, the same animal shall be the tiger has become dangerous to the human life in the area," the order said.

The order to shoot the animal was issued after people's representatives, political leaders and villagers of Moodakolly, Vakery near Sulthan Bathery, where Prajeesh was killed protested in front of the Taluk Hospital where his body was kept. 

Initially, the order mandated officials to tranquilise and capture the animal. The new order was issued after people intensified their protest and even threatened to block inter-state traffic.

Villagers had also declared that they would not perform the last rites of Prajeesh till the forest department issued an order to kill the man-eating tiger.

In the agrarian belt near Sulthan Bathery which borders the jungle, farmers in large numbers have gathered at the spot expressing solidarity with the victim and his family.

The body of Prajeesh was shifted to Sulthan Bathery Taluk Hospital on Saturday night for postmortem.

From camera traps the forest department had confirmed that the animal was still roaming in the area. 

Sulthan Bathery MLA I C Balakrishnan told Onmanorama that he has contacted forest minister AK Saseendran who had assured him speedy steps.

In a reconciliation meeting held on Saturday night, the South Wayanad DFO had also expressed readiness to handover Rs 5 lakh, the first instalment of the compensation of Rs 10 lakh, to the family of the victim on Monday and also do whatever needed to ensure government job for the dependent.

However, hectic behind-the-scenes discussions are on to avoid any untoward incidents and also ensure the burial of the victim today itself. A posse of police has been stationed in the village to avoid any law and order issues in connection with the brutal killing of the farmer.

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