Maneka urges Fadnavis to sack forest minister over tigress Avni death

Prime News, Nation, (New Delhi), November 7:-Union Minister Maneka Gandhi on Tuesday upped the ante on her demand for ouster of Maharashtra Environment Minister Sudhir Mugantiwar over the killing of tigress Avni and dashed off a letter to state Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, asking him to “consider removing” the minister.

“I request you to fix responsibility for the illegal killing of the tigress and consider removing Mugantiwar from the responsibility of the Ministry of Environment and Forest in the state government,” Maneka told Fadnavis in her letter, released to media on Tuesday.

“If the environment and forest minister resorts to killing animals instead of protecting them, he is definitely failing in his duty. This is something like the WCD minister working for child traffickers,” the Union minister for Women and Child Development wrote in her letter.

Gandhi added that she had been speaking to Mugantiwar on the issue of alleged maneater tigress Avni for the past two months and requesting the minister to have the tigress tranquillised and quarantined.

The tigress could have been saved, had the minister in charge of the Forest and Environment Department been a “little patient, sensitive and persistent”, rued Gandhi.

Tigress Avni, who is believed to be responsible for the deaths of 13 people in the past two years, was shot dead by sharp-shooter Asgar Ali in Maharashtra’s Yavatmal forests on Friday as part of a government-sponsored operation.

Also known as T1, Avni is survived by two 10-month-old cubs.

Son of famous sharp-shooter Nawab Shafat Ali, Asgar Ali shot dead Avni in compartment 149 of the Borati forest in Yavatmal district under the jurisdiction of the Ralegaon police station.

Reacting to the killing of Avni, Gandhi earlier, in a series of tweets, had lashed out at the Maharashtra government for ordering to kill the tigress despite opposition from several stakeholders.

“I am deeply saddened by the way tigress Avni has been brutally murdered in Yavatmal,” she had said in a tweet.

“It is nothing but a straight case of crime. Despite several requests from many stakeholders, Mungantiwar, the Minister for Forests, Maharashtra, gave orders for the killing,” she had said in another tweet.

She had said she was going to take up the matter “very strongly” with the Maharashtra chief minister.

“This ghastly murder has put two cubs at the edge of a sad death in absence of their mother,” she had said.

-(NAV, Inputs: Agencies)

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