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Midnapore: A forest guard and a driver, who were deployed to trap an alleged Royal Bengal tiger at Goaltore forests in West Midnapore, have been found dead.

Amal Chakraborty and Damodar Murmu were found dead today morning inside a forest department vehicle specially designed for patrolling in areas infested by carnivorous animals. Amal was the driver of the vehicle, Damodar was a forest guard.

It is nearly a fortnight now that an alleged sighting of a Royal Bengal tiger has triggered panic in several forested areas of West Midnapore including Goaltore, Lalgarh, etc.

On Sunday, 11 March, a man was attacked by some animal at Goaltore’s Kushpata forest where he had gone to collect firewood. The injured claimed that it was a tiger that attacked him.

The state forest department, searching for the alleged Royal Bengal tiger for the past two weeks, deployed teams in different parts to look for the beast. One such team, comprising Amal and Damodar, was deployed at Goaltore’s Hamargora area last night.

They were provided with a specially designed vehicle, which has netted windows, to keep a watch for the tiger through the night. Apparently apprehensive of being attacked by the unseen beast, the two pulled down the glass panels of the windows but kept the vehicle’s portable generator on.

Some residents of the area found them dead inside vehicle today morning. There were no injury marks on their corpse and it is suspected that they died of suffocation. The mishap has triggered superstitious stories about the tiger playing an indirect role in the death of the two forest department workers.