Kolkata: Two forest officials who went to catch a tiger have been found dead on Tuesday under mysterious circumstances in Hamargora jungle under Goaltore police station in West Midnapore district.
The vehicle was inside the forest since Monday afternoon after a pugmark was detected there.
Among the deceased, the driver of the vehicle was also there. Police suspect the victims might have choked to death as they were sleeping inside the closed vehicle.
According to officials of the Forest department the vehicle was Airavat — a big size van equipped with modern gadgets and floodlights. These vehicles are often used to drive away wild elephants and it was pressed into action on Monday after a pugmark was spotted in Goaltore.
One of the victims has been identified as Damodar Murmu while the identity of the driver is yet to be ascertained. They went to the spot with tranquiliser and other gadgets after pugmarks were reported.
The victim set up a trap cage to capture the tiger. During the night, both of them confined themselves inside the vehicles the windows of which were also shut.
Police and Forest department officials suspect that the duo might have suffocated to death due to lack of oxygen.
Some Forest department workers found them lying unconscious and informed the matter to senior officials who rushed to the spot.
Police later rescued the victims and took them to the hospital where they were declared brought dead.
The cops are yet to ascertain the exact reason of their death. The Forest department officials decided to remove the cage trap sensing that the tiger might have gone to another
part of the forest.
It may be mentioned here that a villager was recently critically injured when entering the forest at Kuspata under Goaltore police station in the same district.
He was on his way to collect forest produce along with some of his companions who later rescued him.