ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

A+| A| A-

Lessons from Ranthambhore's Ustad

The polarising debate around a nine-year-old tiger who killed a forest guard in Ranthambhore National Park, and was eventually relocated, will serve little to address complex problems of conservation. This article focuses on the scientifi c and societal considerations of wildlife conservation--the forest guards as well as the communities living inside and around wildlife habitats.

On 8 May, Rampal Saini, a forest guard at the Ranthambhore National Park (RNP) was fatally attacked by a tiger. He had been working with the forest department for 27 years. The investigation on ground by the forest department and local conservationists was based on eyewitness accounts of three other forest guards who rushed Rampals body to a hospital. A nine-year- old tiger, T-24 or Ustad, was held responsible for the death. This was the fourth person and the second forest department employee to have lost his life to a tiger within a period of five years in Ranthambhore.

With assurances of prompt action against the accused by the forest department, peace prevailed on ground. However, in the past, when previous deaths had occurred, there were protests by violent mobs who created roadblocks, attacked the local station house officer (SHO) and refused to accept a victims body unless adequate compensation was paid.

Dear Reader,

To continue reading, become a subscriber.

Explore our attractive subscription offers.

Click here


To gain instant access to this article (download).

INR 59

(Readers in India)

$ 6

(Readers outside India)

Support Us

Your Support will ensure EPW’s financial viability and sustainability.

The EPW produces independent and public-spirited scholarship and analyses of contemporary affairs every week. EPW is one of the few publications that keep alive the spirit of intellectual inquiry in the Indian media.

Often described as a publication with a “social conscience,” EPW has never shied away from taking strong editorial positions. Our publication is free from political pressure, or commercial interests. Our editorial independence is our pride.

We rely on your support to continue the endeavour of highlighting the challenges faced by the disadvantaged, writings from the margins, and scholarship on the most pertinent issues that concern contemporary Indian society.

Every contribution is valuable for our future.