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Tiger killer in CID net

Calcutta, Oct. 19: CID sleuths today arrested a Sunderbans villager for allegedly killing the tiger found floating in a river with bullet wounds a fortnight ago.

Police identified Paritosh Mondal, in his early 50s, as a poacher. A tiger bone, which the police said was “old”, was found in his house on Kumirmari Island, around 270km from Calcutta.

Three others had been held earlier in connection with the tiger death. Mondal was said to be one of the two men who had fired. The second shooter is missing.

An improvised rifle, which was allegedly used to fire at the tiger, and a revolver were found from his house at Sarodpara village.

This is the first time poachers have been held in the Sunderbans. “We are searching for the others who are part of a deer and tiger poaching racket,” said special inspector-general, CID, Sanjay Mukherjee.

During interrogation, Mondal apparently provided a blow-by-blow account of how he and his accomplice, Panchanan Giri, had killed the tiger in the Jhila forest.

On October 6, the decomposed carcass was found in the Khonakhali river. It had two bullet holes in the head.

“Armed with two rifles, the duo climbed up a tree on October 3 and waited for hours. They spotted the tiger around 5.30pm. Both Mondal and Giri pulled the triggers and the bullets hit the tiger,” said Mukherjee.

The adult male, however, did not collapse on the spot. It somersaulted thrice and went into the river. “We did not dare to come down. The next morning, we searched for the tiger, but could not find it. We came to know about its death from newspapers three days later,” Mondal said.

He apparently told the police that a full-grown tiger could fetch up to Rs 25 lakh.

The police raided Giri’s house in the same village this morning, but he managed to give the slip. Mukherjee said a team of plainclothes personnel had been camping in the Canning and Gosaba area since October 15.

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