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Kin force village elders into tiger reserve, claim compensation for death: report

The Times of India
4 Jul 2017

Across villages bordering Pilibhit Tiger Reserve, a bizarre string of events has been reported in the recent past. Elderly residents have been found venturing into the forest only to be mauled to death by tiges. knowing fully well what it means to go into the big cat`s lair. Many of their relatives have then sought lakhs of rupees in compensation, forcing authorities to rethink if these "tiger attacks" were a conspiracy forced down on helpless old men and women by their kin.

Environmentalist Kalim Athar of the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB), a central government agency tasked with handling wildlife related offences, whild examining incidents of tiger attacks in the area, has made this stunning find, documented it in a report and submitted it to the bureau.

Athar examined tiger attacks in the vicinity of PTR, looked into individul cases, the distance from the forest at which the bodies were found, and the accounts of locals. In the proximity of Bankati beat of Mala forest range here, since February 16, seven villagers including two women were killed by tigers.

A 58 year old woman in Bihaura Khurd village told me her two sons wanted her to go deep into the forest in the expectatin that she would be killed by a tiger.

They were planning to put her body in their field and claim compensation of 5 lakh, Athar told TOI.

The report has been submitted to Tilottama Verma, additional director of WCCB. Bureau authorities have decided to refer the mater to the Natinaal Tiger Conservation Authority ( NTCA) for further action, Athar added.

Accordingt to locals, though, elderly residents of these villages were not victims of a conspiracy, but rather willing participants.

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