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Maharashtra, Centre form separate panels to probe tigress Avni killing

The first investigation will be done by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) under Union environment ministry that will submit its report by November 26. The Fadnavis govt has formed a body to study the process in which permissions were granted to kill the animal.

india Updated: Nov 09, 2018 23:48 IST
Badri Chatterjee
Badri Chatterjee
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Tigress Avni killed,Avni killed,Man eating tiger Avni
Photo released by the Maharashtra Forest Department on November 3 shows the dead body of Avni, the tiger known to hunters as T1 after being shot in the forests of India's Maharashtra state near Yavatmal. (AFP File Photo)

Seven days after tigress T-1, also known as Avni, was killed by the forest department in Yavatmal, two independent probes, one at the national level and the other in Maharashtra, will be conducted, as the report of the autopsy conducted on her and accessed by HT threw up inconsistencies in the accounts of her death.

The first investigation will be done by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) under Union environment ministry, which has formed a three-member panel that will submit its report by November 26.

The Fadnavis government has formed a body to study the process in which permissions were granted to kill the animal.

“Following several media reports about this incident, we have decided that this committee will study the last part of this operation, especially the process in which T-1 was allegedly tranquillised and eliminated,” said Anup Kumar Nayak, additional director general, NTCA.

Petitioner Jerryl A Banait, who approached Supreme Court and Bombay high court to stop T-1’s killing, said: “Both reports will be biased. There was a need to have an independent special investigating team on this.”

Inconsistencies
T-1’s autopsy report, which was not publicly released by the forest department but accessed by HT, read, “In our opinion, the tigress died of excessive internal haemorrhages and cardio-respiratory failure.” She had not eaten in a while as “her stomach was fluid filled with no major solid contents”, the report read.

“The dart only pierced the surface of the tigress’s carcass, which meant that it was merely placed by the forest team to show that the tigress had been tranquillised or else the quantity would have been more,” he said.

“The bullet had pierced the lateral end of the carcass. As mentioned by the hunter that T-1 was charging at them, the bullet would have pierced the upper shoulder, head, face or back if that was the case. The animal was not attacking the forest team but standing 10 metres away.”

First Published: Nov 09, 2018 23:48 IST