Wildlife lovers in Hyderabad have come together in support of ‘Ustaad’, a tiger placed under captivity for killing a man, claiming that he was falsely indicted in the case and should be restored to his original habitat.
Ustaad has been accused of mauling a forest guard, Rampal Saini, to death, near the entrance to Ranthambore National Park on May 8. Following the death of Saini, Ustaad was moved to a small enclosure at Sajjangarh near Udaipur, Rajasthan.
A wildlife lover, Jeetender, said that the campaign is not just for one tiger but an effort to try and expose the lobby between hoteliers, forest department and officials, those who ‘trying to make business out of tiger tourism.’
“This particular tiger, Ustaad, who has been wrongly accused of mauling a forest guard, by a name of Rampal Saini. The facts are distorted and exaggerated. No proper enquiry has been done and this tiger is wrongly accused of being a man-eater. No proper protocol has been followed and the tiger was sent into a zoo kind of environment, which is Sajjangarh Biological Park, in Udaipur,” said Jeetender.
The demonstrators, that largely comprised wildlife photographers and wildlife lovers, demanded government’s intervention in the case.
“What we are asking for is a fair trial for Ustaad. We want Ustaad’s version also to be seen and heard, a proper enquiry to be done and if he is found culprit then the necessary action has to be taken,” added Jeetender.
The wildlife lovers are also demanding that a panel comprising experts from National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), Wildlife Trust of India and some other experts should examine the case.