India minister turns on own party over killing of man-eating tiger

Leroy Wright
November 5, 2018

"Despite the forest officials being committed to tranquilise, capture and qurantine the tigress, the trigger-happy shooter has killed her on his own under orders of Sudhir Mungantiwar".

At the time, the petitioners told a bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta that if the tigress was shot dead, both her cubs would not be able to survive in the forest.

For almost three months, equipped with the latest technology, 150 ground personnel, elephants and so-called expert trackers and shooters were on a quest to find Avni. Speaking with the Times of India, wildlife activist Jerryl Banait said Avni's killing violated the National Tiger Conservation Authority's (NTCA's) rules.

British actor and animal conservationist Dan Richardson, who had planned to organise and hold a march in London on 11 November, said the fight to save the tiger's cubs must continue.

Mr. Thackeray asked if Asgar Ali, the civilian who shot the tiger, had "the explicit permission to of the court to kill her, in his name, also when there was an alternative to dart her".

The minister said that Avni's killing had forced 'two cubs at the edge of a sad death in the absence of their mother'. Earlier, Maharashtra forest department had hired private hunter Nawab Shafaat Ali Khan from Hyderabad to help track the elusive man-eating' tigress but failed to capture her. shooter Shafat Ali Khan had also commissioned a powered hang glider and invited his friend Arjuna awardee golfer Jyoti Randhawa with his two dogs to track down the tigress.

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The forest department outlined the course of events in a press release.

Villagers had called forest officials on Friday to say they had spotted the tiger which had been given the name T-1 by rangers, but which was also known as "Avni".

Elsewhere, TV footage showed locals celebrating and distributing candies, saying they were relieved that the terror unleashed by the tigress was over. "So as a reflex action of self-defence, Mr. Asghar fired from a distance of about 8-10 metres".

A tigress which is alleged to have killed 14 people in the last one-and-a-half years was shot dead in India's western state of Maharashtra, officials said on Saturday (Nov 3). "The tigress died on the spot", according to a statement from the Maharashtra Forest Department.

Union Minister Maneka Gandhi's criticism of her party BJP's government in Maharashtra has sparked a row.

Her remains have reportedly been taken to a zoo to be autopsied.

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