The Marauder Of Dublar Chor

Professor Mawla

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Tonight ; I am going to relate an account on AH forums , of the time when I was assigned to hunt down the marauder of Dublar Chor in 1977 . This was a marauding Royal Bengal tiger which had devoured upwards of 24 local villagers , in the Dublar Chor forest range of the Sundarban mangrove forests .

Before I begin , I would like to give the customary prologue . I own exclusive rights to each and every single photograph which is being used in this article ( several of which have featured in my book “ Jokhon Shikari Chilam “ when I had originally published the first edition in 1994 ) and thus none of the photographs used in this article may be reproduced without my permission .
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The Author With The Hide Of The Marauder Of Dublar Chor . 2020
 

Professor Mawla

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It was November 20 , of 1977 . Work at the tea estates was going pleasantly . There was enough construction work for my company to keep ourselves preoccupied and well paid , but not so much as to keep us stressed . I had recently partaken in the completion of an outhouse in one of the tea estates situated at Sri Mangal ( located in the northeastern tip of the country ) and it did not look as if our company would be involved in any new projects for the rest of the month . This gave me some free time time for indulging myself in some leisure activities . I decided to spend a few days in Dacca ( the capital city ) and do some shopping .


I had arrived at Dacca at around 5:30 PM in my old Ford pickup truck , and took up a room for three days at the Purbani hotel . After leaving all of my luggage ( just one suitcase ) in my room , I went off to tour the city and purchase some new things which would benefit me . I first went to my tailor ( whose shop was located right outside Purbani hotel ) and had three new check cotton poplin dress shirts made for me ( in light blue , light green and light pink ) with my usual preferred features : Single button cuffs , a breast pocket and hidden button down collars . I also had two new cream woolen flannel dress trousers made for me with my usual preferred features : Four pockets , brace buttons , double forward pleats and cuffs .


After that , It was off to one of the local arms shops - Ahmed Hossain Arms Co . Here , I purchased four 25 round boxes of 12 bore ( 2 3/4 inch ) Eley Alphamax number 4 birdshot shells and four boxes of Eley Rifle Club 40 grain solid lead factory loads in .22 Long Rifle calibre . Back in those days , this was just about the only ammunition which one could find in any of the arms shops in Bangladesh . Then , it was a trip to the electronics shop where I wanted to purchase a VCR ( video cassette recorder ) . Watching films was a rather favorite nocturnal pastime of mine ( it still is ) and thus I bought a VCR so that I could record my favorite films on it , when they would play on the television .


With everything purchased , I returned to Purbani hotel at around 9:00 PM and dined at the cafe on the ground floor of the hotel . Purbani hotel used to serve the best deep fried chicken cutlets and mashed potatoes in all of Dacca city ( they still do ) and thus , this was what I naturally dined on . I completed my dinner with a cold tin of Heineken beer and spent the next two hours watching the television at the hotel’s common lounge . The news was going on , and one very particular segment interested me .


There was a marauding Royal Bengal tiger at large , in the Dublar Chor forest range of the Sundarban mangrove forests . So far , it had fatally mangled 24 local villagers in the last month and a half . The Sundarban Forest Department had declared the animal to be a menace which must be destroyed , and were offering a bounty of 800 Taka to any local licensed arms owners who would successfully manage to dispose of the creature .


I weighed in my options . I could either spend the rest of the month in Dacca city , shopping at different places ( even though I had already purchased what I was in need of ) and eating at different restaurants . Or I could go to the Sundarban mangrove forests and try my hand at disposing of the marauder . If I succeeded , then I would be pocketing 800 Taka which used to be a great deal of money back in the 1970s . After I would get the job done , I could probably shoot a nice Axis deer and bring back some delicious venison for my larder . Besides ; I enjoy(ed) hunting far more than I enjoyed shopping , eating at restaurants , watching films or doing anything else for that matter . Thus , I had made up my mind .


The very next morning , I drove my old Ford pickup truck back to Sylhet from Dacca . I arrived at my apartment by around 5:45 PM and kept my VCR there , alongside the Eley Rifle Club .22 Long Rifle . Unlocking my closet , I retrieved my Flaig’s Enfield Model 1917 action custom .458 Winchester Magnum . Then , I unlocked my airtight gun safe and retrieved a yellow 20 round box of Winchester Super Speed 510 grain soft nosed factory loads . The box of shells was fairly old , because Winchester had ceased using the yellow box by 1972 ( at the time ; I possessed two such yellow boxes of soft nosed factory loads and one white box of Winchester Super X 500 grain round nosed cupronickel jacketed solid factory loads , which was produced sometime after 1975 ) . However , the box was unopened and I had kept all the contents of my gun safe completely fresh by using a substantial amount of silica gel ( which aided in keeping out the moisture and prevented my .458 Winchester Magnum ammunition from getting exposed to the elements ) .


I packed my .458 Winchester Magnum and my box of soft nosed ammunition into the back of my Ford pickup truck . My Laurona 12 bore sidelock ejector double barreled side by side shotgun was already in the back of the truck , alongside the boxes of Eley Alphamax 2 3/4 inch number 4 birdshot shells and four rounds of Eley Alphamax 2 3/4 inch LG shells ( with each containing eight antimony hardened lead slugs of .36 calibre ) . I also packed a spare set of clothes and toiletries . Using a piece of bailing wire , I attached a six cell torchlight to the fore end of my .458 Winchester Magnum . Using another piece of bailing wire , I secured another six cell torchlight to the fore end of my Laurona 12 bore sidelock ejector . I slept at my apartment that night , intent on setting off to the Sundarban mangrove forests early in the morning .

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Pre 1972 Box Of Winchester Super Speed 510 grain Soft Nosed Factory Loads For The .458 Winchester Magnum
 

Professor Mawla

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Next day , I set off at around 7:15 AM in the morning in my old Ford pickup truck . By roughly 4:30 PM , I had arrived at the Khulna division ( located in the southwestern corner of the country ) . From there , it did not take me long to reach the Dublar Chor forest range of the Sundarban mangrove forests .


Once I had arrived there , I made my way to the head office of the Dublar Chor Forest Guards . Parking my old Ford pickup truck at the driveway , I went inside to meet the senior Forest Guard . Once I met the gentleman , I told him why I had arrived and I requested an LOA ( Letter Of Authorization ) from him . This letter was evidence that I was authorized to hunt down the marauding Royal Bengal tiger which was operating in the Dublar Chor forest range . I also asked the senior Forest Guard if I could enlist the assistance of a Garo tribesman for aiding me in tracking the marauder . The gentleman told me that a Garo tracker would arrive at the head office to aid me , by morning . He also handed me a map of the entire Dublar Chor wireless radio , so that I could communicate with the head office whenever necessary .


I ate my dinner at the mess hall of the head office of the Dublar Chor Forest Guards : A plate of mutton boti kebab and crispy paratha flatbreads . I completed the meal with a tin of sprite and then went to sleep in the store room of the head office . The Forest Guards were most courteous and accommodating because they provided me with a mattress , blanket and pillow for the night . The following day , I showered and shaved in the bathroom of the head office , before making my way outside . It was here that I would meet my Garo tracker .


His name was Vivuti and he was about 70 years old . A frail and hunch backed elderly man with a bald head and a scraggly white beard . His teeth ( perhaps he had nine or ten ) were all stained black due to years of chewing betel nut and he wore a tattered white T shirt along with a pair of blue shorts . Like most Garo tribesmen , his feet were covered with the traditional rubber sandal . He did not look like much , but I knew that most Garo tribesmen were immensely talented trackers whose appearances could be quite deceiving . Garo tribesmen do not shake hands but rather show their respect to others , with a long bow . Vivuti gave me the traditional bow and I paid my respects by bowing , as well .


I went to my Ford pickup truck and opened the trunk . I recovered my .458 Winchester Magnum , the box of Winchester Super Speed 510 grain soft nosed factory loads , my Laurona 12 bore sidelock ejector and the four Eley Alphamax LG shells . I loaded three rounds into the magazine of my .458 Winchester Magnum and I loaded two Eley Alphamax LG shells into the breech of my Laurona 12 bore sidelock ejector . I put three .458 Winchester Magnum soft nosed rounds in each of the two pockets of my sleeveless hunting jacket . I handed Vivuti my Laurona 12 bore sidelock ejector and the two extra Eley Alphamax LG shells . I asked him if he had ever fired a gun , to which he replied that he had once been a Sepoy in the army of British India ( prior to India achieving independence in 1947 ) . Satisfied with his answer , we both began our long day .


As I have mentioned in several of my previous writings , dinghy boats are the only feasible method of traveling through the thousands of canals which run through the Sundarban mangrove forests . For this reason , the Dublar Chor Forest Guards had provided with with a forest department issued dinghy boat . Our boatman was a pleasant gentleman man in his early forties , by the name of Mainur . It was Mainur’s duty to ferry Vivuti and myself all over the Dublar Chor forest range .
 

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We spent the entire day traveling to the various sites where the marauder had been claiming it’s victims . It was essential that we be able to pinpoint the location of all of these “ kill sites “ , so that we were able to triangulate the general ( and if possible , specific ) area where the marauding Royal Bengal tiger was operating . As I have mentioned in several of my previous writings , Royal Bengal tigers are largely territorial creatures . Once they find a region where food is effortless to come by , then they shall continually frequent that region until either all of the food in that region is exhausted or the Royal Bengal tiger dies . In the case of a marauding Royal Bengal tiger , it’s food is ( naturally ) the human being . For this reason , a marauder shall always choose a particularly favorite village or town and keep frequenting it for food , until there are either no human beings remaining in the village or the marauding Royal Bengal tiger dies .


By 7:00 PM , we had managed to scout all of the areas where the marauder had been claiming its victims . As we were visiting every area , I was marking down the location on the map which the senior Forest Guard had provided me . Vivuti was absolutely relentless in his mission to track the pug marks of the marauding Royal Bengal tiger . At every location , he thoroughly checked the ground for tracks and also whiffed into the air . At one particular location , he finally told me “ Anayeth Sahib , manushkheko ei dik diye shob shomoy cholachol kore “ ( Anayeth Sir , the marauder travels through this region every day ) .


I curiously asked Vivuti how he had arrived at this conclusion . He taught me a very vital lesson , which I would remember to this very day . Male Royal Bengal tigers always urinate into the bushes , in order to mark their territory. The smell is quite pungent and akin to that of a rodent’s nest . He also told me that the pug marks of the marauding Royal Bengal tiger were going in all directions , in this area . In other words , the tracks did not lead to any particular direction but were rather indicative of the fact that the marauder would regularly pass through this area . We had found the lair of the marauding Royal Bengal tiger . I instructed Mainur to take the Dinghy boat further down the canal and to sleep in the dinghy for the night . As soon as he would hear gunfire , he was to take the dinghy and make his way back to where Vivuti and I was .


I have mentioned in several of my previous writings that Garo tribesmen can imitate the mating calls of Royal Bengal tigresses , in order to lure male Royal Bengal tigers towards them . Vivuti was no different , in this regard . I instructed him to begin replicating Royal Bengal tigress mating calls , while I looked for a suitable place where both of us could hide . There were no trees in this particular area which were strong enough to support human weight . Thus , we had to resort to spending the night on the ground level .


I found a small clearing among some bushes and sat down behind them , in an attempt to conceal myself as well as possible . Vivuti found a similar hiding spot amongst some bushes roughly 15 yards away from me . In my hands , was my .458 Winchester Magnum . In Vivuti‘ hands , was my Laurona 12 bore sidelock ejector . The understanding was that Vivuti would only fire , if I was unable to take down the marauder with the three rounds in my .458 Winchester Magnum’s magazine . I took off the safety catch on my .458 Winchester Magnum , while Vivuti similarly switched off the safety on my Laurona 12 bore sidelock ejector . Our long night of waiting had begun , with Vivuti continuously imitating the mating calls of a Royal Bengal tigress .
 

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At around 2:45 AM , both Vivuti and I could hear the fairly loud splashing sounds of some heavy creature swimming through the canal . The splashing sounds were increasingly getting louder and louder , indicating that the animal ( whatever it was ) was coming towards our direction . Both Vivuti and I saw the marauder arise from the canal ; it’s body dripping wet with water . It was a very huge and heavy looking Royal Bengal tiger , nearly rivaling the size of the marauder which I had shot in Maulvi Bazaar in 1976 .


Both Vivuti and I exchanged glances at each other . I silently raised my .458 Winchester Magnum up to my shoulder and watched Vivuti do the same with my Laurona 12 bore sidelock ejector . The Royal Bengal tiger slowly walked towards our general direction , completely oblivious to our presence . Curiously shifting it’s head from side to side , the animal was looking for the Royal Bengal tigress which had been making all those mating calls . Taking aim at the slowly approaching marauder’s fore head , I placed one finger on the button of the six cell torchlight . The marauding Royal Bengal tiger was roughly ten yards away from me , when I pressed the button . What happened next , was instantaneous .


The beam from the six cell torchlight illuminated the head of the marauder and the Royal Bengal tiger was startled to suddenly have such a bright light being shone into it’s eyes . I squeezed the trigger of my .458 Winchester Magnum and a loud gunshot echoed through the entire Dublar Chor forest range , as the 510 grain Winchester Super Speed soft nosed bullet ( being propelled at a velocity of 2130 feet per second ) buried itself into the region between the two eyes of the animal ( this particular spot is called the “ T-Zone “ ) . The Royal Bengal tiger did not even react to the gunshot with the slightest of sounds . It simply slumped to the ground ; it’s hind legs giving out at first .


Cycling the bolt of my .458 Winchester Magnum to chamber a fresh round , I cautiously approached the fallen animal with Vivuti close behind me . I poked it’s left eye with the 25 inch Douglas Premium barrel of my rifle , and the Royal Bengal tiger did not even remotely move a muscle . True enough ; the marauder of Dublar Chor was no more .

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.458 Winchester Magnum Owned By The Author
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Laurona 12 Bore Sidelock Ejector Owned By The Author
 

Wyatt Smith

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You guys must have read Jim Corbett, how you all attach flashlights to your rifles. Jim did this with the Rudrapryag leopard, and it’s the first time I can think of, that it has been recorded.
What a grand trophy that skin makes.
 

inkonkoni

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Professor,

What a great adventure it must have been. And an amazing experience.

The skin Trophy is an absolute bonus and very beautiful!

Enjoy the Hunt and shoot straight
 

Professor Mawla

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True to his words , Mainur arrived at our location to pick up Vivuti and I as soon as he had heard the gunshot . The three of us struggled to get the heavy carcass of the marauding Royal Bengal tiger to the dinghy boat , but nevertheless we eventually succeeded . From there , it did not take us long to reach the head office of the Dublar Chor Forest Guards .

An autopsy of the marauding Royal Bengal tiger , made it crystal clear why it had turned to feeding on human beings . He was a massive fully mature male , weighing exactly 272 kilograms . From snout to tail , he measured ten feet and six inches and was approximately nine years old . There was a healed wound in his paunch . It was a partially mushroomed 244 grain .315 calibre soft nosed bullet . I recognized the calibre , right away . It was fired from an Indian Ordinance Factories .315 calibre bolt action rifle . In other words , this must have been the work of an Indian poacher . Perhaps , the poacher had wounded the Royal Bengal tiger in the corner of the Sundarban mangrove forests which had fallen within India’s territory . Perhaps , the poacher had sneaked into the Bangladeshi part of the Sundarban mangrove forests and attempted to take down this Royal Bengal tiger ; right under our noses . Regardless , it was the actions of the Indian poacher which directly played a hand in this animal claiming 24 human lives . As I have mentioned in several of my previous writings , an injured Royal Bengal tiger turns to human beings for food because human beings are ( typically ) far easier to hunt down than Axis deer or wild boars ( the natural diet of the Royal Bengal tiger ) .

The Dublar Chor Forest Guards were extremely content with the relatively swift manner in which the marauding Royal Bengal tiger had been disposed of . The senior Forest Guard rewarded me , with the promised 800 Taka and I was also allowed to retain the hide of the marauder . I shared 400 Taka with Vivuti and also let him have the much sought after testicles of the marauding Royal Bengal tiger ( which as I have mentioned in several of my previous writings , the Garo tribesmen consider to be an aphrodisiac ) . Vivuti gratefully told me that he would give the Royal Bengal tiger’s testicles to his eldest son , who had just recently gotten married .

The following day , I took permission from the senior Forest Guard to let me shoot an Axis stag for the larder . The gentleman courteously gave me the permission , at once . Later during the day , I set off with Vivuti and Mainur ( in Mainur’s dinghy boat ) to go and look for a herd of Axis deer . While traveling downriver , we spotted an entire herd of these animals drinking the water at the edge of one of the larger canals . This is something which the Axis deer inhibiting the Sundarban mangrove forests always do . At roughly 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM everyday , they always come down in herds to drink water at the edge of the riverbanks .

I had both my .458 Winchester Magnum and my Laurona 12 bore sidelock ejector in the dinghy boat , at my disposal . I decided to try my hand at taking down one of the Axis stags , with my .458 Winchester Magnum . Raising the rifle to my left shoulder , I took off the safety catch and took aim at the neck of the largest Axis stag which I could get my sights on . Squeezing the trigger , I gripped the .458 Winchester Magnum tightly as the recoil kicked the butt of the rifle against my shoulder . A loud gunshot echoed through the entire Dublar Chor forest range , as the 510 grain Winchester Super Speed soft nosed bullet shattered the neck of the Axis stag . The large animal dropped to the ground at once ; dead on the spot . As the rest of the herd of Axis deer dispersed , I sent Vivuti onto the river banks in order to recover the carcass of the freshly shot Axis stag . This , he duly did and all three of us soon returned to the head office of the Dublar Chor Forest Guards .

I gave one leg of venison to Vivuti and one leg of venison to Mainur . I gave one leg of venison to the Dublar Chor Forest Guards and kept the final leg of venison for myself , to take back to Sylhet . We all decided to prepare the rib chops , tenderloins , liver and kidneys at the kitchen of the head office for immediate consumption . That night , we ( myself , Vivuti , Mainur and the Dublar Chor Forest Guards ) were all able to enjoy the feast of fresh venison at the mess hall . The chef who was working for the Dublar Chor Forest Guards , had a very special method of preparing Axis stag venison . At first , he boiled all of the venison in an iron pot . After that , he seared it on a very hot pan with a generous amount of canned butter . A healthy seasoning of fine grain salt , freshly ground black pepper and chopped fried onions added an unrivaled taste to the finished product . We enjoyed our pan seared venison with luchis ( a traditional Bengali small savory pastry , which is made from semolina flour and fried until very crispy ) and fried potatoes . A few bottles of local “ Hunter “ brand beer polished off this delicious meal .

The following morning , I set off to Dacca city in my old Ford pickup truck . I intended to make a speedy pit stop at my tailor’s shop , so that I could pick up my newly ordered check cotton poplin dress shirts and cream woolen flannel dress trousers . After that , I intended to return to Sylhet .

THE END
 

Professor Mawla

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You guys must have read Jim Corbett, how you all attach flashlights to your rifles. Jim did this with the Rudrapryag leopard, and it’s the first time I can think of, that it has been recorded.
What a grand trophy that skin makes.
@Wyatt Smith
That is correct . Jim Corbett’s books used to be a part of our school syllabus , during the fourth grade . Most Bengali people of my generation , are quite well acquired with the exploits of Mr. Corbett .
 

Professor Mawla

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A great read Professor. Without a way to remotely turn on the flashlight, I'm always amazed at how quickly you could aim and fire your rifle.
@Shootist43
Thank you very much . It becomes quite straightforward to do , with practice . The six cell torchlight stays attached to the fore end of your weapon ( just forward of where one grips the fore end ) . A flick of the finger , is able to instantly switch on the flashlight .
 

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Another great read. I love the respect you show your trackers and how you share the spoils of the deer with them and the wardens. Very classy!

You obviously love your 458, I can tell every time you write about it. That is just awesome.

Thanks again for the stories , they are amazing.


Craig
 

Professor Mawla

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Another great read. I love the respect you show your trackers and how you share the spoils of the deer with them and the wardens. Very classy!

You obviously love your 458, I can tell every time you write about it. That is just awesome.

Thanks again for the stories , they are amazing.


Craig
@machinistbutler
Thank you very much . I firmly believe that the gentleman who pulls the trigger is only partly responsible for a successful hunt . The real credit goes to one’s fearless beaters , trackers and every person who strives to make the hunt go as smoothly as possible .

And yes , I am immensely fond of my .458 Winchester Magnum . I have been owning and using it now , for the last 43 years and I never intend to part with it .
7A772939-16AF-46E3-85C5-8A40B2F4AC05.jpeg

Built by Flaig’s in Millvale, Pennsylvania on a Winchester Enfield Model 1917 action . Military floor plate release , 25 inch Douglas Premium barrel and contoured French walnut stock .
 

Professor Mawla

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Absolutely magnificent account , Anayeth . I truly miss Vivuti . I know that he passed away in 1980 ... But would you happen to remember how the noble Garo tracker had passed on to the happy hunting grounds ?
@Major Khan Sir
He unfortunately developed throat cancer , due to years of chewing betel nut . I attended his funeral , when his family had cremated him .
 

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