Kotdwar (Uttarakhand): A 75-year-old man was mauled to death by a tiger in Rikhnikhal block of Uttarakhand’s Pauri district in the second such incident in the area in three days, alarming authorities who clamped a night curfew in 25 villages as a safety measure. District Magistrate Ashish Chauhan said the curfew in the 25 villages will be in force from 7 pm to 6 am. All schools and anganwadi centres in the area have also been ordered to remain shut till further orders, he added.
Forest Ranger Mahendra Singh Rawat said the half-eaten body of Ranveer Singh Negi was found by villagers on Sunday. The man was killed by the tiger on Saturday, he added.
The deceased lived alone at his residence in Simli village in the Kalagarh forest division, located close to the Corbett Tiger Reserve.
Another man in his seventies was killed by a tiger in Dalla village, located around 25 kilometres from Simli, on April 13.
Following the two deaths due to tiger attacks, the DM met the panic-stricken villagers of Dalla during the day to instill a sense of security among them.
Pauri’s Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Swapnil Aniruddh and police personnel are camping in Dalla, where a cage has been put up by the forest department to trap the big cat, Chauhan said.
He advised the villagers not to go to the forest to bring fodder for their livestock.
The animal husbandry department has been asked to make animal feed available at people’s doorsteps for the time being.
Meanwhile, a video surfaced on Monday in which a tiger is seen roaming the fields of Dalla, while cattle are grazing only a few metres away.
Trap cameras have been installed at various places in the area to capture the movement of the tiger, the DM said.
Forest and police department teams will remain stationed in the area throughout the night to keep a vigil, he said, adding that people have been advised to venture out only when it is unavoidable.
Even when they go out, they should do so preferably in groups, he said.
“Schools would not open until the tiger is caged,” Chauhan said.
Aniruddh, Lansdowne DFO Dinkar Tiwari and Kotdwar Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) Pramod Kumar are also stationed in Dalla.
Negi was not responding to the telephone calls of his relatives in Dehradun since Saturday, Rawat said.
The relatives informed the villagers about it and urged them to find out what was wrong. The villagers found bloodstains along the way to Negi’s residence.
After a long search, they found the half-eaten body of the elderly man around 150 metres from his home, the forest ranger said.
This was the second such incident in the area in three days.
Birendra Singh (72) was mauled to death by a tiger in Dalla on April 13 when he had gone to harvest the wheat crop in his field.
Rawat said the next of kin of those killed in the tiger attacks will be given Rs 4 lakh in compensation.
Kotdwar MLA Dilip Singh Kunwar has requested Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami to declare the tiger a man-eater.