Forest officials on Sunday said a man-eater tiger is suspected to have killed a 10-year-old boy in Najibabad forest division of Bijnor district Saturday evening. If confirmed, it will be the third killing by the man-eater in the division since July.
Mohammad Rafi, 10, was with his father Ghulam Rasool when the animal “with white stripes” attacked the boy near their village, Baheri, close to Badhapur range of the forest. Forest officials said the father chased away the animal and did not let it carry his son’s body which bore multiple injuries and became the reason for his death.
Najibabad SDM Ashutosh claimed that the boy was killed by a tiger.
Conservator of Forests (Moradabad Circle), Kamlesh Kumar, however, said it cannot be ascertained if the animal that killed the boy was a tiger as the victim’s uncle gave inconclusive information about the animal and could only say that he had seen “an animal with white stripes attack Rafi”. He said that no pugmarks were found near the site of the incident.
Kumar added that since the boy’s family did not give the assent to conduct a post-mortem, the exact cause of death remains unknown.
Rafi belonged to the community of Van Gujjars. On September 12, another community member, Mohammad Shafi, was similarly killed in Shahuwala range of Najibabad forest division. Shafi’s family, too, did not allow the authorities to conduct an autopsy.