Yavatmal villages felicitate tigress Avni’s shooters

To celebrate peace and tranquility that has been restored in our 19 villages and bringing an end to two and half years of terror created by man-eating tigress T1. To remember the 13 innocent victims and the one victim that was crushed by the elephant brought to capture the tigress, the press release prepared by the villagers read.

Exactly one year after Hyderabad-based expert shooter Asgar Ali, son of private marksman Shafat Ali Khan, shot dead suspected man-eating tigress ‘Avni', 19 villages of Yavatmal district in Maharashtra felicitated the duo on Saturday.

The shooting had caused an uproar among animal rights activists.

After nearly three months of search with the help of drones, elephants and expert shooters, six-year-old Avni (also known as T1), believed to be responsible for the deaths of 13 people over a period of two years, was killed on November 3 last year. The mother of two cubs was shot dead by Asgar Ali, who was hired by the forest department.

“Due to the killing of the tigress, we are living in peace. Our village witnessed the tenth killing by the tigress. As we are predominantly farmers and labourers, we were all afraid of moving out of our houses when the tigress was on the prowl,” Ankush Muneswar, Sarpanch of Vedsi village, told DH over the phone.

He said that the villagers felt that they must felicitate the father-son duo. The villagers also handed them a demand draft for Rs 21,000 and a citation for saving their lives.

The press release prepared by the villagers read: “To celebrate peace and tranquility that has been restored in our 19 villages and bringing an end to two and half years of terror created by man-eating tigress T1. To remember the 13 innocent victims and the one victim that was crushed by the elephant brought to capture the tigress”.

The villagers argued that many false claims have been raised by NGOs and politicians having vested interests that T1 was not a man-eater and that a wrong tiger was shot in the place of the T1. “Their claims turned out to be wrong as there has not been a single killing in these villages by any wild animal after Asgar shot the man-eater,” they said.

They further demanded that the government demarcate and protect villages with boundaries so that wild animals don’t freely enter the villages and attack cattle and people. The villagers, while felicitating the father and son, said that they will stand by the shooters whenever any need arises as they saved the villagers by risking their lives.

DH Newsletter Privacy Policy Get top news in your inbox daily
GET IT
Comments (+)