Tigress killing: court orders followed, says minister

Maharashtra's Forest Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar on Monday said that the guidelines of the National Tiger Conservation Authority and court orders were followed

Under fire from all quarters over the killing of tigress Avni, Maharashtra's Forest Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar on Monday said that the guidelines of the National Tiger Conservation Authority and court orders were followed. 

He also said that he is ready to face any high-level inquiry into the issue. "The necessary due diligence was done," said Mungantiwar, while responding to a volley of questions at Mantralaya,  the state secretariat here. 
 
He said that the NTCA guidelines were followed while releasing the orders on tranquillisation and shooting of tigress, after the killings of tribals and farmers in the Pandharkawada area of Yavatmal district. "No forest minister can release such orders (of shooting)... these orders were not released by me... the guidelines were followed to the hilt... the orders were challenged in the Bombay High Court and Supreme Court and both courts upheld the Forest department orders," he clarified.
 
According to him, the decision was taken only after the locals stopped going to the fields because of the fear of the tigress. "It was affecting the livelihood of the locals," he said.
 
On the criticism by Union Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi, he said that she "lacks information" on the entire issue and a phone call could have dispelled the doubts. In a series of tweets, Gandhi had said that Mungantiwar had ignored the calls of various stakeholders and that Avni's killing was a "straight case of crime". 
 
Besides, she had also described shikari and sharpshooter Nawab Shafath Ali Khan as a criminal. However, the senior Maharashtra minister and BJP leader pointed out that Khan had been on panels of various state governments.
"The (then) Principal Chief Conservator of Forest of Uttar Pradesh from Pilibhit (Gandhi's constituency) too had certified him (Khan) for the services of Forest department and had killed a maneater tiger in 1999," he claimed.
 
 
 

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Tigress killing: court orders followed, says minister

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