Plea to PM for NIA probe into Avni killing

Only high-level probe will unravel truth, say activists in petition to Modi

Expressing grave concern over the rise in man-wildlife conflict, several activists have appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a high-level inquiry into the killing of tigress Avni by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

In an online petition to the PM, who also heads the National Wildlife Board, the activists pointed out that the killing of T1, popular as Avni, has raised several questions as, apparently, no efforts were made to take alternative routes either to isolate or tranquilise the tigress. Veterinary experts say that the NCTA (National Tiger Conservation Authority) guidelines and SOPs were not adhered to, the petition filed by environment-focused website thenatureconnect.com, said.

“There are many more statements coming up. Let various politicians say what they want. Many may also make emotional points. But, sir, we are concerned with justice and the rule of law.

Only an impartial, unbiased and uninvolved inquiry will bring forth the facts which could help to save the wildlife, said communication activist B N Kumar, editor-in-chief of thenatureconnect.com.

This also brings a sharp focus on the debate over the disappearance of Jay, the tiger which had mysteriously disappeared into the oblivion. The iconic tiger went missing from Maharashtra’s Umred Karhandla Wildlife Sanctuary, Nagpur and is presumably dead by now, Kumar pointed out.

Noted veterinarian and forensic expert Dr Prayag H S told the site that proper procedures were not followed even before declaring T1 as a man-eater. There is no concrete and substantial evidence to show this either, he said.


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Supporting the request for an NIA probe, Kishor Rithe, Founder of Satpuda Foundation, told thenatureconnect.com that the inquiry must take into account over the human-carnivore conflict as 13 people had lost their lives in Yavatmal and over 90 in Chandrapur districts. In such a situation, blaming one Tigress is improper. The issue needs to be addressed from the centre as well as the state.

“We demand that the comprehensive, high-level investigation must find out the causes behind this conflict and come out with solutions. This will help to avoid many big cats following the Awani story in Vidarbha,” he said.

Rithe is also unequivocal that hired or private hunters should not be used in any such operation and only forest shooters to be deployed to avoid bias. “It is also very important to keep tiger corridors, identified by Wll, safe from developmental projects.”

Shree Ekvira Aai Pratishtan, NGO fighting for environmental protection, also joined the chorus in requesting Mr Modi for an NIA probe into Avni’s killing which he calls is “a cold-blooded murder”.

These issues are of grave concern to all wildlife lovers and those who are keen to preserve the biodiversity and ecological balance. This calls for a thorough probe by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) as an internal probe could be biased, the activists said.

The petition hailed the PM for his declared stand on conserving tigers.

Thenatureconnect.com has been launched inspired by the PM’s message on the occasion of the Environment Day to connect people with nature. The site has been running campaigns to save the environment, the Parsik Hills, mangroves and wetlands in Mumbai Metropolitan Region etc.

 

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Plea to PM for NIA probe into Avni killing

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