Sad news from Ranthambore National Park in Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan, the infamous tiger Ustad has been ordered by Supreme Court to be imprisoned in the zoo for lifetime. According to the report, the popular tiger T-24 aka Ustad from Ranthambore was sentenced to be kept in Sajjangarh Zoo in Udaipur after what seem to be one of its kind decisions by a human court that too of the highest order on the charges of being a man-eater. Supreme Court gave their verdict against the petition of relocation of the tiger filed by Tiger Conservationist Ajay Dubey.
Notorious as Ustad may seem, the tiger was immensely popular amongst wildlife lovers. In its decision, the Supreme Court denied any leniency to this big cat as he is charged with taking the lives of 4 people in a single year in 2015. The decision of the Supreme was challenged by a tiger conservationist who believes that the decision is arbitrary as there was no conclusive evidence to link Ustad to the string of deaths last year. As per the senior advocate Indira Jaising who is in support of Dubey, “Tigers involved in chance encounters are not to be removed from their natural habitat and evidence against T-24 can be at best attribute his involvement in chance encounters.” Jaising also stated that though the tiger was spotted near human bodies, there are no evidences to link the deaths to him. However, the Supreme Court bench comprising of Chief Justice TS Thakur and Justices R Banumathi and UU Lalit ruled out the statement by saying ”So, you want eyewitnesses for this? Was the tiger guarding the body? The experts have said it is a man-eater. We are not interfering with the shifting of a man-eating tiger to a zoo. It involves safety of humans.”
It is to be noted that Ustad is an adult tiger in Ranthambore National Park who has stayed in hype because of man-eating incidents. So far, the tiger is believed to have killed four people in the year 2015 out of which two were the locals and one was the forest guard named Rampal.
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