Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Row erupts over killing of tigress

Governance       Orphaned tigress Avni’s 10-month-old cubs stare at death or captivity
       
       	        Sanya Dhingra         3 November 2018 Governance Orphaned tigress Avni’s 10-month-old cubs stare at death or captivity Sanya Dhingra 3 November 2018
Steven Clarke | 06 November, 2018, 11:33

"He is a criminal known for supplying guns to anti-nationals and for a suspected case of murder in Hyderabad", Maneka Gandhi, a government minister and known animal rights activist, said on Twitter.

Earlier on Monday following uproar over killing of tigress Avni in Maharashtra's Yavatmala district on Friday, Rahul Gandhi tweeted, "The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated".

"A number of people have raised doubts and concerns regarding the killing of tigress T1 (as Avni was referred to by the forest department) and made derogatory comments, which has dented the spirit of forest department employees who have been doing their best for tiger conservation", Mungantiwar told the media.

The minister said that Avni's killing had forced 'two cubs at the edge of a sad death in the absence of their mother'.

The activists also petitioned the Supreme Court asking it to forbid the Maharashtra Forest Department from killing Avni. "I am writing to her to request her to constitute an inquiry into the incident at any level, national or even global, that she deems fit to clear any doubts she has", he said.

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She said she is going to take up the matter "very strongly" with Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis."I am definitely going to take up this case of utter lack of empathy for animals as a test case".

"She (Gandhi) loves animals. Despite the forest officials being committed to tranquilize, capture and quarantine the tigress, the trigger-happy shooter has killed her on his own". Both Mungantiwar and Gandhi are members of the Bharatiya Janata Party.

"Avni, who was known in the Pandharkawda forest area, had killed 13 people over the last two years in the region", he said.

According to a government statement, when a forest patrol team spotted the tigress, a tranquilliser dart was first fired at the animal. Avni was shot dead by Asgar Ali, the son of controversial sharpshooter Nawaf Shafat Ali. "She was killed only after she attacked those trying to tranquilise her", Mungantiwar said. "Instead of lodging a complaint with the chief minister, the Union minister, if she wants, can order a high-level inquiry by a sitting Supreme Court judge or a committee of sitting Supreme Court judges into the incident", said Mungantiwar.

The urine of another tigress and perfume were used to lure Avni to her hunters before she was killed, a police official told NDTV.

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