Don't Need Rahul Gandhi's Certificate, Says BJP On Tigress Avni's Killing

Man-eating tigress shot dead in India

Killer tiger shot dead

Earlier on Sunday, Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi lashed out at the BJP-led Maharashtra government, calling the killing as a "ghastly murder" and a "straight case of crime".

A day after Union minister Maneka Gandhi criticised Maharashtra environment minister Sudhir Mungantiwar, he said he would have given his side of the story had she called him up.

Stating that the tigress had killed 13 people, including eight tribals, since 2016, Mungantiwar said the government had followed the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) guidelines in declaring her a man-eater.

In September this year, the Supreme Court had said Avni could be shot at sight, which prompted a flurry of online petitions seeking pardon for the tigress.

Gorewada Rescue Centre personnel stand near the body of the man-eating tigress T1, known as Avni to wildlife lovers, at a postmortem room in Nagpur, India, Nov. 3, 2018.

The six-year-old tiger, named Avni, had two cubs.

She was shot dead by sharp-shooter Asgar Ali in the Borati forest in Maharashtra's Yavatmal district Friday as part of an operation.

She said she will be taking up the matter "very strongly" with Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

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The hunt for the tiger had been has been controversial from the beginning, with activists challenging the forest department in the courts.

Meanwhile, Dr Prayag HS, an experienced wildlife veterinarian and veteran of several big cat captures in the country, the court orders were not followed and the animal was shot in cold blood.

According to a government statement, when a forest patrol team spotted the tigress, a tranquilliser dart was first fired at the animal. When the tiger turned and charged at the vehicle she was killed by a single gunshot, the forestry department said.

The killing has sparked massive outrage and raised a debate over tiger conservation efforts. This is patently illegal.

Gandhi also took strong objection for roping in sharpshooter Khan and his son for the hunt.

Activists questioned why a private hunter - Nawab Shafat Ali - was hired by the Maharashtra government to nab Avni. "Despite the forest officials being committed to tranquilize, capture and quarantine the tigress, the trigger-happy shooter has killed her on his own". There are strict laws in force in India against the killing of wild animals.

He said a report has been sought by his ministry over the killing of Avni.

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