Tigress Avni Killing: Maneka Gandhi Condemns, Calls Out Forest Minister

Tigress Avni, officially known as T1, was shot dead in Yavatmal district of Maharashtra, on Friday night, as part of an operation. Union Minister Maneka Gandhi condemned this killing, calling out Maharashtra’s Forest Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar for handling the issue poorly.

Key Highlights

  • T1, was shot dead in as part of an operation of Maharashtra’s forest department.
  • The forest department, in this shooting, violated its own order upheld by HC and SC.
  • The 5-year-old was shot dead without any tranquilizing efforts.
  • Maneka Gandhi has directed for an action against the people involved in the crime.

It is nothing but a straight case of crime, says Maneka Gandhi

Maneka Gandhi, a wildlife lover, called the killing a “ghastly murder.” She is also furious with the forest department for having involved trigger-happy shooter Nawab Shafat Ali Khan and his son Asghar. She stated she will not rest without ensuring that action is taken against him.

“His (Nawab Shafat Ali Khan) son was not authorised to kill. This is patently illegal. Despite the forest officials being committed to tranquilise, capture and quarantine the tigress, the trigger-happy shooter has killed her on his own under orders of minister Sudhir Mungantiwar,” she tweeted.

The shooting is also said to have violated several protocols

The forest department, in this process, violated its own order upheld by the HC and the apex court. The order had stated that first tranquilization efforts would be done before eliminating the animal, as per reports. The 5-year-old was shot dead in cold blood on a bait without any tranquilizing efforts.

T1, who was believed to have been responsible for the deaths of 13 people in Maharashtra in the past two years, was shot by Hyderabad-based sharpshooter Nawab Shafath Ali Khan’s son Asghar. There was no wildlife veterinarian accompanying him, which is mandatory as per norms.

For more than three months, the forest department officials were planning to catch the tigress with the help of latest technology. Trained sniffer dogs, trap cameras, drones and a hang-glider, expert trackers, sharpshooters and around 200 ground personnel were roped in for the task, as per sources.

Condemnation over Avni’s murder

Following T1’s death, Mungantiwar, and others who were involved in this shooting process, have been facing a lot of flak from wildlife lovers on social media.

Animal rights body People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India said this killing should be investigated and treated as a wildlife crime. PETA termed it a “dark day” for the nation. The organisation mentioned how this shooting was done “illegally to satisfy a hunter’s lust for blood” in contempt of court and in apparent violation of the Wildlife Protection Act.