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Will relocate villagers living in tiger territory: Goa CM

Will relocate villagers living in tiger territory: Goa CM
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Panaji: A day after Forest Department officials arrested three persons for allegedly poisoning four tigers to death in the Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Thursday said he will relocate villagers living in tiger territory.

Sawant said he has directed the department to identify remote dwellings in Goa's forested areas, especially in tiger territory, and begin the process of relocating them to habitated areas.

He also said samples drawn from the carcasses of the four tigers had been sent to the Central Forensic Science Laboratory in Hyderabad for analysis.

"It is the effort of the government to relocate people living in tiger territory. This incident occurred in the Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary. There are only two families there. We want to shift them," Sawant said, adding that he had directed the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests to draw up a proposal for relocation of the two families in the sanctuaries and identify other areas where such isolated habitats exist.

The three persons arrested by the Forest Department on Wednesday, in connection with the death of four tigers, belong to the Dhangar community, a Scheduled Tribe, who herd cattle and grow paddy and vegetables in small farm patches in the wildlife sanctuary.

"The government is willing to shift them. We will relocate them and their cattle. If there are people living in remote areas, we should insist that they shift to habitated areas. I have instructed PCCF... Their life is in danger, it is a risk," Sawant said.

The three arrested persons were believed to have allegedly poisoned the big cats, after a cow and a buffalo were killed by the tigers in December.

Sawant said, that the death of four tigers was a loss of national property and said that steps would be taken by the state and the central government to ensure that a tragedy does not occur again.

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