Nawab and son did not produce gun, empty shells

Tigress Avni

Nearly 40 days after tigress Avni was shot, private hunter Nawab Shafath Ali Khan and his son Asghar Ali Khan have not produced the weapon or the empty shells.

Besides, Asghar Ali Khan, who shot the tigress on November 2 in the forest ranges of Yavatmal district of Maharashtra, also failed to produce his all-India weapon license to the committee of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), which was asked by the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, to probe the incident.

"The guns and empty shell of cartridge were shifted to Hyderabad without  producing it to the forest department. It is evident from the details filed by the forest department in PIL number 133 of 2018 that Asghar Ali Khan was working in the team from October 6, and guns used by the team belong to his father Nawab Shafath Ali Khan," the report of the three-member NTCA states.

The report points out that the same observation is supported by the declaration of weapons made by Nawab Shafath Ali Khan vide letter dated October 20, forwarded to Superintendent of Police, Yavatmal by Chief Conservator of Forests (Territorial), Yavatmal vide letter dated October 22 that both guns belonged to the senior.

"Despite this, shooter Asghar Ali Khan does not remember the make, model and specification of the gun used for killing T1. He does not remember the immediate incidents and happening after shooting the T1. He did not act on repeated communication by the forest department to submit the weapons used and empty cartridges for further scrutiny.

He failed to produce his own all-India weapon licence to the NTCA committee, which he claimed to possess in his written statement. This indicates that Asghar Ali Khan is hiding the information. The fact is, Asghar Ali Khan is a totally inexperienced person and has provided a false statement to the authority," said the 12-page report.

The MoEFCC formed a three-member committee comprising O P Kaler, former additional chief conservator of forests, Jose Louies, Deputy Director and Chief, Wildlife Control Division and Communication, Wildlife Trust of India and Hemant Kamdi, Assistant Inspector General, NTCA regional office, Nagpur, who was the convenor.

The committee stated the weapon used by Asghar Ali Khan to shoot T1 was licensed to his father Nawab Shafath Ali Khan, who was not present with the team which killed T1 on November 2.

"Asghar Ali Khan has not produced any authorisation from his father to use the gun in his absence. Asghar Ali Khan used the unauthorised weapon to eliminate T1," the report stated, indicting the father-son duo.

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