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Tiger park in cattle’s grip

Jaipur, Sept. 18 (PTI): At least 400 villagers, along with 4,000 cattle, have laid siege to the grazing area on the periphery of the Ranthambore National Park for the past three days to protest against construction of a boundary wall to check grazing .

The protesters are also demanding removal of the tiger reserve’s director, police sources said today.

Armed with sharp weapons, the villagers have threatened forest guards with dire consequences if any move was taken to contain the grazing, police said. Panic-stricken forest guards have left the check post towers.

The Ashok Gehlot government had recently announced that a wall would be built to check grazing in the park and being an end to routine clashes between villagers and forest guards.

Additional director-general of police (crime) N. Meena and two ministers Jitendra Singh and Hari Singh Mahua have been camping in the park since yesterday. Gehlot yesterday held meeting to review the problem.

State forest and wildlife minister Beena Kak said the imbroglio is likely to end today as batches of forest and police officials and guards have been directed to drive away the cattle.

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