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Under fire, Fadnavis promises probe into tigress killing

IANS  |  Mumbai 

Under fire from various quarters including Maneka Gandhi, Chief on Monday announced a probe to ascertain if there were any procedural lapses in the killing of an alleged man-eater tigress, Avni, last Saturday.

"She (Gandhi) has used harsh words, but her sentiments are understandable. All animal lovers' sentiments are harsh on this incident. It was a very difficult decision, but whether the procedure was correct or not will be inquired into," told mediapersons.

Fadnavis' reactions came a day after Gandhi lashed out at Forest for Avni's killing, while ruling ally has termed it as an "encounter killing", called it a "barbaric murder' and condemned the tigress' elimination in the Yavatmal forests.

As per a preliminary report of the forest department, was shot dead by a professional shooter, Nawab Asghar Ali Khan, around midnight after she allegedly turned back and attacked the staff attempting to sedate her.

"There is no joy over the killing. The forest department had to take the decision since she had killed at least 13 humans. There are doubts over whether she was first shot and then the tranquiliser injected. This would be probed," said.

Speaking to the media this evening, Mungantiwar dismissed the uproar over Avni's killing as arising out of "inadequate information" and said had made maximum efforts towards protecting forests and tiger conservation.

"The same shooter (Khan) had killed a man-eater tiger in Pilibhit of in 2009. The criticism is surprising and demoralizing for the forest staff, and might prove counter-productive for the ongoing efforts," the minister said, defending himself against Gandhi's sharp barbs on Sunday.

He said the (NTCA) guidelines were followed.

Besides, Mungantiwar said orders were challenged both in the and and were upheld and the decision was taken only after the terror-struck people of the region stopped going out to fields fearing attacks by the tigress.

On Gandhi's questions over the selection of the controversial shooter Khan, Mungantiwar pointed out that he was on the panel of several states and had killed a man-eater tiger in her (Maneka Gandhi's) Pilibhit constituency nine years ago.

Gandhi had virtually demanded the sack for Mungantiwar in a series of tweets yesterday: "It is nothing but a straight case of crime. Despite requests from his own forest department and people, Sudhir Mugantiwar gave orders for the killing. This is the third tiger being killed on his directions."

"I am shocked that such a person is continuing to hold a ministerial position. Every time he has used the shooter, and this time his son has also appeared on the scene illegally to kill the tigress. His son was not authorised to kill. This is patently illegal."

Mungantiwar also countered this by saying that instead of complaining to the CM, the (Gandhi) could order a high-level probe by a or a committee of sitting apex court judges to investigate the matter.

In an edit in the party mouthpieces 'Saamana' and 'Dopahar Ka Saamana' today, the ruling ally slammed the and begged for Avni's "forgiveness".



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, November 05 2018. 21:34 IST