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Who was Maniram Jatav killed by a tiger near Bhopal?

Maniram Jatav farmer was killed by a tiger near Neemkheda village, 35 km from Bhopal, while collecting tendu leaves. Incident, marking first tiger-related fatality in the area in decades, was confirmed by DFO noted canine marks and pugmarks as evidence.

By Ground report
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Who was Maniram Jatav killed by a tiger near Bhopal

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A man was killed and partially consumed by a tiger in the eastern range of the Raisen forest division near Bhopal, an official reported on Thursday. The incident occurred near Neemkheda village, about 35 km from Bhopal city.

According to Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Vijay Kumar, the body of Maniram Jatav (62) was discovered in the forest around 4 pm on Wednesday. He had gone out to collect tendu leaves, reported PTI.

The official stated that canine marks on the neck indicated that the man was killed by a tiger, with pugmarks found nearby. "Canine marks on the neck suggested he was killed by a tiger, not a leopard. The animal consumed parts of the man's hips and thighs, and its pugmarks were also spotted nearby," Kumar said.

The DFO added that the tiger likely strayed from the Ratapani Wildlife Sanctuary, home to over 60 tigers. "This is the first time in recent history that a big cat has mauled a man to death in the Raisen district forest. The area where the body was found is not a protected area," Kumar said.

Who was Maniram Jatav?

The victim was 62-year-old Maniram Jatav, a farmer and father of six. He was killed on Wednesday near Neemkheda village while picking tendu leaves. This tragic incident, about 32 km from Bhopal, marks the first time in several decades that a tiger has killed a person in the area.

DFO Vijay Kumar explained the circumstances to The Indian Express, “It appears the tiger was resting when Jatav, on all fours collecting tendu leaves, inadvertently got too close and spooked the animal, leading it to attack. Portions of his thigh and hips were missing, and there were canine marks on his neck.” Kumar emphasized that it would be wrong to label this tiger a "maneater," noting, "It is very rare for a tiger to kill a man."

Jatav had gone out to collect tendu leaves at around 7 am Wednesday, while the tiger was hidden in four-foot-tall grass. When Jatav didn’t return after three hours, his family began searching for him. His body was discovered at around 3:30 pm.

“I found my father’s body badly mangled. The forest officials blamed us for going into the forest. In March, a tiger came near our house and there were warning signs, but no real steps were taken to protect us,” said 33-year-old Deepak, Jatav’s son. Deepak mentioned that Friday was his wedding anniversary, and the family had planned to celebrate the construction of their new house. “We were supposed to celebrate a housewarming, but are instead in mourning. My children are scared to step outside,” he added.

Maniram Jatav was relatively well-off, having recently constructed a new five-room house, bought a tractor and a jeep, and owned nine acres of land where he grew moong and wheat. Despite this, he continued collecting tendu leaves for an additional income of Rs 400 per 100 stacks of leaves. His family had advised him against going to the forest, especially near the mango tree farm that served as a gateway to the area.

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