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Tigress kills villager, triggers violence

Angul: The tigress from Bandhavgarh National Park that was released into forests of Satkosia on August 17 allegedly killed a 35-year old woman from Hatibari village, 55km from here on Wednesday, triggering widespread anger among local residents.

Hundreds of people from nearly a dozen villages in Satkosia torched the forest range office at Tikarpara, a forest department guest house and a beat house at Hatibari. They also attacked other forest department offices in Tikarpara and Hatibari.

Forest department officials and staff members fled from their offices as the protesters went on a rampage and ransacked the buildings. They also set afire all boats belonging to the department in the area and ransacked the range office.

Villagers blocked the Angul-Tikarpara Road in the afternoon and demanded immediate removal of the tigress, Sundari, from Satkosia and adequate compensation to the family members of the victim.

The villagers said Kailashi Soya had gone to a nearby nullah to take a bath in the afternoon. When she did not return, her husband and other villagers went to search for her in the nearby forests and found the body of the woman.

"We warned forest department officials that the animals were a threat to our lives. We demand both the tigers be translocated," said BIraj Jani, a local resident.

Satkosia divisional forest officer S.M.T. Rahman said: "The tigress was in the area near the village for the past few days and the villagers were warned about her presence. Despite warnings, the woman had gone to the forest."

The forest department has brought two tigers - a male and a female - from Madhya Pradesh and released them into the reserve to increase the tiger population.

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