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Probe tigress death in Betla National Park: Saryu Roy

He accused the tiger reserve officials of a orchestrating a 'massive cover-up'
Saryu Roy
Saryu Roy
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TT Bureau   |   Calcutta   |   Published 22.02.20, 07:16 PM

Independent MLA from Jamshedpur East Saryu Roy on Saturday urged the state government to order a “high level” inquiry into the death of the tigress in Betla National Park.

The Telegraph had reported on Saturday how there are several unanswered questions over the death of the big cat in the Palamau Tiger Reserve which is part of Betla National Park.

“Chief minister Hemant Soren must act fast,” Roy told The Telegraph. “The death of the tigress is not something that can be ignored. The present government must take a tough and stern stand to find out the causative factors behind the death and punish officials if they are found responsible.”

He accused the tiger reserve officials of a orchestrating a “massive cover-up” and said it was time for the state government to come down heavily upon vested interests operating in the reserve and in the state forest, environment & climate change department.

A day after the tigress was found dead on February 15, officials had said the aged big cat must have been gored to death by a bison or a herd of bison protecting its young.

“I do not know how the PTR officials are spinning this theory; they are causing immense harm,” Roy said. “ I see there is a design and conspiracy to pass this death of a tigress as one caused by bison.”

During the previous BJP-led government in the state, Roy was the in-charge minister of Latehar district under which the reserve is and he used to hold meetings with the reserve officials on issues such as wildlife, habitat management, anti-poaching measures and mitigating man-animal (mostly elephants) conflict.

PTR director Y.K. Das maintained that the park authorities had followed all protocol.

“The detailed report has been sent to the NTCA (National Tiger Conservation Authority). I reassert that all the guidelines were diligently followed,” Das said.

The last national tiger census had found no big cats in the reserve, but Das said camera trap sightings since 2018 had revealed “at least three tigers, two male and one female”. The female was the one found dead, he added.

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