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Opposition asks Maharashtra government to sack minister who hunted leopard with a revolver

The Opposition also wants the minister booked for violating wildlife protection act

mumbai Updated: Nov 29, 2017 00:50 IST
Faisal Malik
Faisal Malik
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Girish Mahajan,leopard
Girish Mahajan

A day after medical education minister Girish Mahajan was seen chasing a leopard with a revolver, the opposition parties on Tuesday demanded the state government to sack him.

They also want the minister booked for violating wildlife protection act for allegedly making an attempt to kill the wild animal for which he wasn’t authorised.

Mahajan is a senior Bharatiya Janata Party minister from Jalgaon and is considered close to chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. He is also the guardian minister of Jalgaon, his home district.

In a video being played on Marathi news channels, the minister totting a revolver is seen participating in a search operation for a leopard at Chalisgaon of Jalgaon district of north Maharashtra on Monday.

Though Mahajan has clarified that the man-eater leopard was sighted 400 feet away from his convoy, after which he decided to go after it. Opposition leaders want him sacked.

“Mahajan has violated the Wildlife Protection Act as he was chasing the leopard with a revolver. The responsibility of hunting down the man-eater is of the forest officials and not the minister’s. He should be sacked immediately,” said Nawab Malik NCP spokesperson.

Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant said the medical education minister was just doing stunts with the revolver. Mahajan has admitted that he was chasing the animal. He had earlier attended a school event with a revolver tucked visibly in his waist. Mahajan told HT: “The leopard has killed five people in the district in the past one-and-a-half months. On Monday, I visited the families of the people killed. On my way, forest officials sighted the leopard, so we decided to chase it down. Being a legislator and the district’s guardian minister, I wanted to take part in the search operation, instead of sitting safely in my car.”

First Published: Nov 29, 2017 00:50 IST