Bengaluru: With last week’s tiger attack still fresh in the minds of Chikkamagaluru residents, a drunk biker decided to capitalize on the scare after he fell from his vehicle on Thursday. He cooked up a story of tiger attack in order to get compensation.
The accused, Cheluva, a worker in Watekhan Estate, called up his wife and told her that he fell from his bike after being attacked by a tiger. She immediately alerted her neighbours about the attack.
Soon the villagers gathered and moved towards Watekhan Estate, where the attack was supposed to have taken place. There they saw Cheluva lying in pain, with a parcel of kebab in his hand. He was immediately shifted to a nearby hospital and forest officials were alerted.
But when the police started questioning Cheluva they got suspicious, as he was making contradictory statements. They also didn’t find any pug marks near the accident site. Further investigations revealed that Cheluva was drunk and fell off the bike near the estate. He cooked up the tiger attack story to get compensation and sympathy.
“He was riding fast and fell on the mud road. It is possible that some dogs may have tried to pull kebab from his hands and he must have mistaken it for a tiger. There has been scare of tiger around this area ever since a tiger killed a woman last week.
Hence we are not sure whether he made up tiger story intentionally or was too drunk. We have warned him and so far no case has been filed. The forest officials too have warned him and others against spreading rumours on tiger movement around the villages,” said a police officer from Chikkamagaluru Rural Police station.
For the last two weeks, the forest officials in Chikkamagaluru district have been on their toes after repeated sightings of tigers were reported in the area. Last week a tigress killed a woman after which it was caught and released in the Bhimghad Wildlife Sanctuary.
Shockingly a day after the foresters caught the killer tiger, three more sightings were reported in various parts of Chikkamagaluru.
“We are not sure that all the sightings were true. During 1994 there was a leopard scare in Kudur town of Chikkamagaluru and numerous cases of fake attacks were reported,” said a forest official.
No radio collar signal:
Meanwhile there is a growing anxiety among forest officials as they are yet to receive any signal from the tigress that was released inside Bhimghad Wildlife Sanctuary on Wednesday. It’s been 48 hours since the animal was released with radio collar around her neck.
The officials said the region where the tigress was released has a thick canopy and are hoping that by Saturday evening they may be able to get some signal.