Avni killing turns bone of contention for Sena, BJP

Avni killing turns bone of contention for Sena, BJP

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray.

The killing of tigress Avni has compounded into a political issue and become a bone of contention between BJP and Shiv Sena, the two saffron alliance partners. 

On Saturday, Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray demanded a judicial probe into the November 2 killing of T1 (Avni) in Pandharkawada division of Yavatmal district. 
Thackeray rejected the two committees set up to probe the incident - one by Maharashtra's Forest Department and another by Centre's Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change.

"Let there be a judicial probe," Thackeray told reporters in Mumbai. 

He said the setting up of committees was nothing but a drama. It was like giving the powers of investigation to those who awarded the contract to kill Avni.

Puts onus on CM

Thackeray also lashed out at Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who reportedly said - "He did not take a gun and kill Avni" - in defence of Forest Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar. "It's a strange logic. Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not go with a gun to conduct the 'surgical strike' (against Pakistan), but took the credit... it is high time he (Fadnavis) takes the responsibility," he said.

Thackeray has directed the Shiv Sena ministers to take Mungantiwar to task in the next weekly Cabinet meeting.

The minister, who is in the line of fire, said that he was ready to have a committee headed by Thackeray and has requested Fadnavis to consider a five-member committee of judges.