Sack minister who ordered kill on tigress Avni, Maneka Gandhi to Maharashtra CM

Tigress Avni, who was killed in Maharashtra’s Yavatmal on Friday, is survived by two 10-month old cubs. A sharp-shooter Shafat Ali Khan was hired to hunt her down.

india Updated: Nov 06, 2018 15:15 IST
Anisha Dutta
Anisha Dutta
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Tigress Avni killed,Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis,Maneka Gandhi
Tigress Avni, who was killed in Maharashtra’s Yavatmal on Friday, is survived by two 10-month old cubs.(AFP file photo)

The union minister of women and child development Maneka Gandhi on Tuesday wrote to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis requesting him to sack his minister for environment and forest Sudhir Mungatiwar for issuing orders to kill tigress Avni, who was believed to be responsible for the deaths of 13 people in the past two years.

Tigress Avni, who was killed in Maharashtra’s Yavatmal on Friday, is survived by two 10-month old cubs. A sharp-shooter Shafat Ali Khan was hired to hunt her down.

“While the reasons for the killing will be examined administratively, you should also exhibit the sensitivity towards public opinion which you are known for. I request you to fix the responsibility for the illegal killing of the tigress and consider removing Shri Mugantiwar from the responsibility of the minister of forest and environment in the state government,” Gandhi wrote.

“ As ministers we need to exhibit the highest standard of sensitivity to the constituencies that we serve If the environment and forest minister resorts to killing of animals instead of protecting them, he is definitely failing in his duty. This is like WCD minister working for child traffickers,” she wrote.

This is the second time the WCD minister has hit out at Mungatiwar on the issue. On Sunday, Gandhi in a series of tweets lashed out at the Maharashtra government for giving the orders to kill her despite opposition from several stakeholders.

The union minister in her letter wrote that she was in touch with Mungatiwar on this issue for the last two months had repeatedly requested him to ensure that the tigress is tranquilized and quarantined. “But for some inexplicable reason, Shri Mungatiwar has been repeatedly calling Shafat Ali Khan to kill animals in Maharashtra. Every time a killing took place I had protested very strongly to you in person,” she wrote.

Earlier, in a statement on Sunday, Gandhi said despite repeated requests by the forest department and people from all over India, Mugantiwar ordered the kill. “This is the third tiger being killed on the directions of the environment and forest minister. Earlier, a dozen leopards and 300 wild boars have been killed on his directions. I am shocked that such a person is continuing to hold a ministerial position,” she said.

First Published: Nov 06, 2018 15:14 IST