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The Sleepless Sentinel

Man mauled to death by Man-Eater
Man killed by Sundarban tiger once again!

NINB, Sajnekhali, 17th April, 2015 : Yet another man fell prey to a Sundarban Tiger while fishing. According to sources, Manotosh Mandal (45) a resident of Dayapur village in Sundarban was dragged by a tiger near Sajnekhali when he was busy fishing and collecting crabs. The incident took place on 17th April, 2015 at around 10:15 a.m. in the morning when Manotosh was fishing in the core areas of Sajnekhali when a tiger pounced on him and dragged him into the forest.

Incidents as this have been occurring since time immemorial but without any solution. Especially around Gosaba block which shares the closest proximity with the Tiger reserve(STR) ,the highly populated block of south 24 Parganas district, which consists 50 villages under 14 GPs (Gram Panchayat) and a bulging human population of around 2.5 lakhs approximately. The entire area is under extreme poverty. The per capita availability of land is negligible. Dire poverty urges them to frequent in forests or to capture fish and crabs in forest side rivulets which are considered as the main livelihood of these unfortunate villagers. According to survey done by RBRF, some around 6000 people are engaged with this dangerous profession in a 50-50 ratio between the male and female.

The conservationists and NGOs are worried with the situation as it is not only inhuman but also considered as illegal to some extent. But in a strange paradox, the concerned “Govt. departments appear reluctant to resolve this crucial issue” – an NGO chief remarked. The only silver lining is to rehabilitate these men and women from such a dangerous profession both in terms of biodiversity conservation and humanity too. An urgent need has been felt to incorporate the dialogues between the government agencies, NGOs and the locals to generate a pragmatic solution to this crisis; “which is not a difficult task!” said the NGO spokesperson.

A government official says “I personally feel really bad as the situation is getting worse but I do not have power to do anything without high level policy guidelines and adequate funding” Although the official said to nature Indian that the family of the victim might be eligible to get a compensation which he will pursue at an earliest.

The man-animal conflict in Sundarban has gone from bad to worse in a few decades. If the government continues to turn a blind eye in this matter then things might spiral out of control for the people living in Sundarban with a fate that will be worse than death