Hyderabad, Dec 4 (IANS) People in several villages in Telangana’s Kumuram Bheem Asifabad district are living in fear after tigers mauled to death two tribals over last three weeks.
Fear still grips Kondapally village in Bejjur reserve forest block, where a 15-year-old girl died in tiger attack on November 29, and surrounding villages.
The Forest Department has initiated measures to ensure safety of both the villagers and the tiger.
Some individuals can be seen going around the villages beating drums to draw people’s attention and ask them to take precautionary measures in view of the threat posed by tigers.
People have been asked not to venture into forests. They have also been directed not to erect barbed or electric wire.
Villagers have also been warned against causing any harm to the big cat. The department said if anybody harms the tiger, he will be punished under the Wildlife Protection Act.
Special teams of forest personnel and animal trackers have been placed in the area round the clock as the villagers are under constant fear that the tiger may strike again.
The department has deployed teams in Kondapally and surrounding hamlets/villages and also making tom-tom announcement for alerting the villages.
The Forest Department has also issued dos and don’ts for villagers residing nearby forest areas.
The villagers have been asked to avoid leaving pathways in agricultural fields and also avoid using routes passing through the forest areas. The department said check gates placed by it along the forest roads should not be objected to.
The Forest Department has asked farmers to stay on machans in agricultural fields while guarding their crops. The shepherds shall go in groups and shall not take the cattle deep inside the forest for grazing and restrict themselves to a distance of half a km from the village. The shepherds shall go for grazing after 9 a.m. and return by 4 p.m.
A minimum of 8 to 10 people shall go to agricultural fields for harvesting or other agricultural operations. In that group, one person should be compulsorily deployed as sentry, whose duty is to make sound by beating drums and whistling, the Forest Department said.
The seven-member committee appointed by Principal Chief Conservator of Forests R. Sobha, has started drawing up a plan of action for dealing with the tiger keeping in view the safety of the people, their livestock and also safety of the tiger.
The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has nominated Imran Siddiqui of HyTICOS, as a nominee of NTCA to the committee constituted for technical guidance and monitoring.
C. P. Vinod Kumar, Conservator of Forests and a nominee of Chief Wildlife Warden of Telangana, is the chairman of the committee.
The department has sought help of NTCA and Wildlife Institute of India (WII) in dealing with tigers.
The human animal conflict in the district has claimed two lives in 18 days. In the first incident on November 11, a 20-year-old tribal youth was mauled to death by a tiger in Girelli forest area of Rebanna Range in Asifabad division.
Forest officials suspect that two different animals were involved in the two incidents.