A week after a woman was found dead in Odisha’s Satkosia Tiger Reserve, the post-mortem report, released on Monday, stated that she was killed after being attacked by an animal. The locals alleged that a tigress relocated from Madhya Pradesh to Odisha’s Satkosia in a pilot inter-state transfer had killed the woman.
The death of the woman was caused by a carnivore, the report stated. “However, the report could not ascertain whether the tigress was the cause of death,” said Anugul SP Mitrabhanu Mahapatra, addressing the press.
The deceased, identified as Kailashi Garnayak of Hatibari village in Tikarpara range under Angul district, went missing when she had gone to bathe in a pond on Wednesday. A local search party discovered the body, which allegedly had injuries made by the tigress.
Pictures of the body show a chunk of flesh missing from the pelvic area. A few local women had told the press they witnessed the tigress eating the body.
The death triggered a law and order situation in Hatibari and surrounding villages till Thursday afternoon, with hundreds blocking all routes to Satkosia. They beat up forest officials and set fire to buildings owned by the forest department and five boats in the area.
Sources in Anugul district administration, familiar with the report, shared that the postmortem concluded that the woman was killed due to asphyxiation caused by choking the windpipe. “This method of killing is consistent with a tiger hunt,” said a conservationist, requesting anonymity.
The woman’s body also bore marks caused by a hard and pointed object, sources said. “Seems like the tiger claws have left a mark,” the conservationist added.
Speaking to the press, earlier in the day, Dr Ramesh from the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), part of a team to assess the situation, said, “There is no question (of shifting the tiger back to Bandhavgarh)”.
Commenting on the agitation by locals to remove the tiger, Ramesh said, “We have to make a systematic plan to convince the sarpanches of villages what the project is for”.
Odisha’s Forest Minister on Monday reiterated his position on the matter. “Whatever WII says, we will go by that”, he said.