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Joint combing operation to capture 'man-eater'

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Joint combing operation to capture man-eater
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Udhagamandalam/Kottayam: A joint combing operation by officials of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka is going on to capture the 'man-eater' tiger that killed a woman recently even as prohibitory orders were imposed in three villages, 80 km from Udhagamandalam.

Officials from the three states are participating in the operation to capture the tiger that was sighted in the forest areas of Tamil Nadu, Kerala Forest Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan told reporters at Kottayam in Kerala.

At Udhagamandalam, Police said section 144 has been imposed in Kaita, Pattavayal and Bidirkadu villages and holiday declared for three days from today to educational institutions in the villages, some 80 km from Udhagamandalam.

Since forest department officials have sighted the tiger moving in Penna area, some 15 km from Bidirkadu, a 50-strong STF along with forest officials from Tamil Nadu and Kerala have intensified the search, police said.

A kumki elephant (tamed) has been brought from Mudumalai to help officials tranquilising the carnivore, they said.

There was also other option to shoot it down immediately on sight with Kerala officials searching for the big cat armed with the orders from that Government, police said.

The tiger that strayed into a private estate had killed a woman estate worker at Pattavayal, about 90 km from Udhagamandalam on Sunday, believed to be its second prey within a week.

The incident triggered widespread protest from locals, resulting in torching of three forest department jeeps and also injuries to three women police personnel.

People also demanded that authorities shoot it dead.

A few days ago a farmer was killed by a tiger at Noolpuzha in Waynad district and forest officials believe that it was the same tiger that attacked the woman worker.

Meanwhile, three NGOs and environmentalist groups have petitioned Nilgiris District Collector P Shankar, not to allow forest officials kill the carnivore.

Shankar handed over a cheque for Rs three lakh to the kin of the woman estate worker, whose body was buried past mid-night last night after post-mortem.

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