Chennai, Oct 5 (BPNS)
Madras High Court will hear a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by a Chennai-based animal rights group against the hunting down of the killer tiger at Gudallore on Tuesday.
The first bench of the Madras High Court comprising of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice P.D. Adikesavalu will hear the petition filed by the animal rights group People for Cattle in India (PFCI). The animal rights group has filed the petition against the order of the Tamil Nadu Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) Shekar Kumar Neeraj on Saturday to hunt down the tiger which was alleged to be responsible for the killing of 4 human beings and 12 cattle.
The PFCI in its PIL alleged that the order of the PCCF was not in resonance to the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA).
The animal rights group in its petition pointed out that the NTCA was a statutory body constituted for the protection of and conservation of tigers by issuance of advisories and or guidelines to forest authorities in a timely manner.
The PFCI in the PIL petition pointed out that the NTCA guidelines have mentioned that the tigers would use agriculture or sugarcane fields to hunt their prey and that such visits might also cause lethal encounters with human beings.
The petitioner said that according to the NTCA guidelines “Such animals should not be declared as dangerous to human life “. The NTCA has however in its further guidelines stated that confirmed habituated tigers or leopards which stalk human beings and feed on the body are likely to be dangerous to human life and that such declaration requires considerable examination based on field evidence.
The petitioner alleged that there was no evidence in the case of MDT23 tiger that it was stalking human being habitually and avoiding natural prey. The organization said that the forest officials in their inability to catch the animal alive have ordered to hunt it down and requested the high court to intervene in the matter.
Meanwhile, the MDT23 tiger is elusive on the ninth day after five to six teams of the forest department started to search it. The PCCF has issued shooting orders on Saturday after local people conducted protests at Gudallore and Manasgudi following the finding of a carcass of an 82-year-old man, Basavanna reportedly attacked, killed, and eaten by the tiger.
The forest officials are using two Kumki elephants Udayan and Srinivasan and three sniffer dogs but the tiger remains elusive.