Trap the killers, not tigers, says wildlife activist Shehla Masood

June 2nd, 2010 - 1:10 pm ICT by ANI  

New Delhi, June 2 (ANI): Wildlife activist Shehla Masood has said that tiger poaching is on a rise in Madhya Pradesh due to the involvement of certain top bureaucrats.

Addressing a press conference here on Tuesday, Masood said: “The influential people have easy access to tiger reserves and restricted areas.

Talking about the recent death of a tigress in the Bandhavgarh Wildlife Sanctuary, Masood said that facts are being tampered with because of the suspected involvement of big names.

“There have been no forensic reports till yet. What is the reason? There were almost 18 vehicles being confiscated, but they have been let off. What for? Just because those vehicles were owned by big politicians, big bureaucrats’ sons, the power brokers of our country. These are the people who are running resorts in and around the tiger reserves,” she added.

On 19 May, 2010, a ten-year-old tigress was reportedly killed after a vehicle in the Tala Forest range of the sanctuary hit it.

However, the official version was that a vehicle chartered by some tourists had knocked down the tiger.

Taking serious note of this incident, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh asked Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan to personally supervise the investigation into the death of this tiger when access to the reserve was restricted.

Statistics reveal that till now 23 tigers have died in 2010 out of which 13 had were victims of poaching.

Recalling these incidents, Masood said that over the past half a decade, huge outlay worth millions of rupees had been sanctioned for tiger conservation in Panna Tiger Reserve located in Madhya Pradesh state and reportedly spent.

“They were given from 2004 to 2009, 2000 crore rupees, which is not a joke. And the report, which is yet not tabled, it says there are no Panna tigers since 2006. My dear friends, where is that money?” she questioned.

India has half the world’s surviving tigers, but their population has suffered, driven by a demand for claws, bones and other body parts of a tiger in China for traditional oriental medicines. (ANI)

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