Clean chit to shooter of Avni, the T1

Avani

After the wildlife lovers and activists raised a hue and cry over the killing of problematic tigress of Avni in Yavatmal district, the state government has given a clean chit to hunter Asgar Ali who shot dead Tigress T1 more commonly known as Avni last year.

It’s wrong that while protesting the killing of tigress, the activists were targeting the Maharshtra minister for forests, Sudhir Munganttiwar. This led the minister to appoint a high power committee to probe the matter.

The clean chit from the state government also vindicated that there was no alternative but to kill the big cat that had killed as many as 13 villagers in Yavatmal district. A letter in this regard has also been sent to the police commissioner of Hyerabad clearing Ali of all charges.

The forest department of Maharashtra has closed this case claiming that allegations against Ali have been investigated and resolved. However, the petitioner, in this case, Dr Sarita Subramaniam has claimed that the Forest Development Corporation of Maharashtra (FDCM) has overlooked several key aspects related to the killing of the tigress who was accused by the state of killing several locals.

Delay in acquiring the cartridges and guns along with Asgar’s gun license indicates that he is being protected by bodies tasked with investigating him, said the petitioner. She added that apex body for tiger conservation, the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) should take onus in this case and not Asgar let off.

The state forest minister Munganttiwar had defended the killing of Tigress Avni and asserted that the big cat was shot only after she attacked a forest official when they were trying to catch her.

While justifying the killing Munganttiwar said that the man-eater tigress killed 13 villagers of Yavatmal district and on the guidelines of National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) the decision to kill Avni was taken.

He said that neither he nor the Forest department had taken the decision. Officials were trying to capture her from last one and a half months. When they tranquilised her, she attacked them so they had to shoot her. It will be wrong to doubt the integrity of the forest officials, Munganttiwar said during the period.

Anyway, after giving a clean chit from the state to the shooter, the controversy is likely to end.