JAIPUR

Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot orders high-level probe into Sariska tiger’s death

Chief minister Ashok Gehlot on Friday ordered a high-level administrative probe into the death of a tiger at Sariska Tiger Reserve in Alwar district on June 8, according to a statement from the CM’s office.

Principal Secretary of the cooperative department, Abhay Kumar, has been appointed the investigating officer for the inquiry.

The tiger, known as T-75 in Ranthambore, was named ST-16 after the seven-year-old was brought to Alwar in April this year to correct the skewed sex ratio at Sariska, which had three males for eight females. ST-16 died on June 8 after doctors tranquilised it for treatment of tumour in its right elbow.

ST-16 is the fourth tiger to die at Sariska in last 14 months, apart from three cubs which have gone missing and are presumed to be dead.

On June 9, Union minister of environment, forest and climate change Prakash Javadekar sought a detailed report on the tiger’s death. “Taken serious note of the death of the Tiger in Sariska forest. I have called for a detailed report,” he said in a tweet.

On Friday, the chief minister ordered the probe to fix accountability of officers and staff of Sariska. The investigating officer in his report will assess the security management of Sariska Tiger Reserve, and give suggestions for improvement in overall management arrangement and other facilities, said the release from the CM’s office.

After the post-mortem by experts from Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Bareilly, and Bikaner, on June 9, samples for pathological examination were sent to Bareilly and to the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad.

Meanwhile, forest officials said the tiger died of heat stroke but wildlife experts blamed the department for lapses leading to the loss of a tiger.

Wild Cat Conservation Society secretary Nishant Singh said the decision to hold the inquiry was welcome. “It is a matter of great surprise that so far no one has been held accountable for the death of four tigers in 14 months,” he said.

Earlier, during a video conference with forest officials, Rajasthan forest minister Sukh Ram Bishnoi pulled up Sariska officers for the death of ST-16.

Meanwhile, in an inquiry at the local level, an assistant conservator of forest (ACF) is recording statements of staff in monitoring team and of those who were present when the big cat was tranquilised.

In Jaipur, an inquiry report has also been submitted by chief wild life warden Arindam Tomar to additional chief secretary Shreya Guha on Wednesday.

First Published:
Jun 15, 2019 09:28 IST

Article source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/jaipur/rajasthan-cm-ashok-gehlot-orders-high-level-probe-into-sariska-tiger-s-death/story-hyajCbtnkPGNcSGCqBiatK.html

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