Amid the controversy over the killing of tigress Avni, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said Tuesday that there was no need for forest minister Sudhir Mungantiwar to resign over the issue.
The chief minister will speak to Union Minister Maneka Gandhi, who has lashed out at the state government over the killing, and an inquiry will be conducted if required, Fadnavis said at Osmanabad in Maharashtra.
"The tigress had killed 13 people. Sometimes the government has to take a tough decision. We feel sorry about having to kill Avni," Fadnavis said, speaking to the reporters.
"There is no need for Mungantiwar to resign. Mungantiwar had not gone there in person to kill the tigress," the chief minister said.
The government did not have any personal interest in seeing the tigress dead, he added.
"The general procedure in such cases is to first try and inject the animal with tranquiliser dart and then shoot if needed. The hunter hired by the government has assured that this procedure was followed. If there was any lapse, we will order an inquiry," Fadnavis said.
Asked about Maneka Gandhi's outburst, Fadnavis said, "I will personally speak with the union minister and clarify the whole matter. The government respects her sentiments towards wild life and animals."
The Union Women and Child Development Minister had slammed Mungantiwar for hiring private marksmen Shafat Ali Khan and his son Asgar Ali for carrying out hunting operations in the state, including the killing of tigress Avni.
Mungantiwar had responded by saying that Gandhi lacked information on the issue and she was free to order a high-level probe.
The tigress, officially known as T1, was believed to be responsible for the death of 13 people. It was shot dead by Ali in the Borati forest in Yavatmal district last week. She has left behind two cubs.
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