Mumbai: The Maharashtra Forest Ministry has formed an inquiry committee to look into the killing of tigress Avni. The committee will probe if all norms and directives were followed or not when she was killed. Man-eater tigress Avni, also known as T1, was killed on November 2 in Yavatmal. (Also read: ‘Tigress Shot in Self-defence,’ Says Minister)
There has been an uproar over the killing with Union Minister Maneka Gandhi being the most vocal of the lot. Raising questions over the killing, Maneka even went on to ask Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to consider sacking the state’s Forest minister. On his part, Forest Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar demanded Maneka’s resignation on “moral grounds” over the death of children due to malnutrition. Maneka had earlier sought Mungantiwar’s resignation over Avni’s killing.
“Maneka Gandhi has called for my resignation though I had nothing to do with the killing of the maneater tigress. If I am to take the moral responsibility for something I have nothing to do with, our Central leader should set an example for me and resign taking moral responsibility for the death of children in the country due to malnutrition during her tenure,” he said.
Sharpshooter Shafath Ali Khan said he was mulling to sue Maneka for levelling defamatory and wild charges against him over the killing of tigress Avni in Maharashtra last week. Khan said his son Asgar Ali and his four-member team were issued an authorisation letter by the Maharashtra Forest department to carry out the operation and the tigress was shot at in “self-defence” while they were trying to tranquilise it.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray claimed that he had learnt that Avni was killed by the government to “save” a proposed project of industrialist Anil Ambani in Yavatmal, a charge denied by the corporate group as well as a district official.
A spokesperson of the Anil Ambani group, when contacted, said the group has no project in Yavatmal district. A district official in Yavatmal also said the site of the proposed project by the Ambani group is far away from the area where the tigress was shot.