Mob vandalises Chitwan park’s office after tiger kills womanPark officials say Ratnanagar residents were angry for delay in retrieval of victim’s body.
Ramesh Kumar Paudel
A mob vandalised the eastern sector office of Chitwan National Park in Sauraha following the death of a local woman in a tiger attack.
After the woman from Ratnanagar Municipality-5 was fatally mauled by the tiger inside Janakauli Buffer Zone Community Forest, the people from her neighbourhood had reached the park’s office demanding retrieval of her body from the forest.
They resorted to vandalism, blaming the park authority for not retrieving the body immediately after the incident, said Ananath Baral, the chief conservation officer of the park.
The mob vandalised the office, took the furniture outside and set them on fire.
Baral said that a team with an elephant had reached the incident site within 45 minutes of the incident.
“It took some time to arrange for an elephant and the team to recover the body from the forest,” he said.
Durga Prasad Ghimire, chairman of a local community forest users’ committee, said the woman’s friends and relatives wanted the park authority to remove the body from the forest by chasing away the tiger.
“The tiger was close to the incident site. So a team of technicians had to dart the tiger,” said Ghimire.
Deputy Superintendent of Police Surya Thapa said the victim, who was in her thirties, had gone to the forest to collect fiddlehead ferns.
The incident happened at around 1:30 pm.
Incidents of human wildlife conflict have increased in Chitwan National Park and its adjoining forest areas in recent days.
Two weeks earlier, a 35-year-old man from Baskatta in Bharatpur was killed in a crocodile attack in the Rapti river. The park officials said the man had gone to the river for fishing.
Similarly, a 60-year-old man from Thori Rural Municipality was killed in a wild elephant attack inside Chitwan National Park on May 13.
“Thirteen individuals have died in separate wildlife attack incidents in the park and its buffer zone areas in the current fiscal year,” said Lokendra Adhikari, assistant conservation officer, of the park.
According to the existing legal provisions of the country, the family of a person killed in a wildlife attack is entitled to receive Rs 1 million as compensation. Similarly, an individual who suffers from serious injuries in a wildlife attack gets a compensation of Rs 200,000 while a victim with minor injuries gets Rs 20,000.
The compensation amount in case of wildlife crop depredation is Rs 20,000.
To claim the compensation amount, the affected person has to file a formal request to the concerned authorities within 35 days of the incident.