Activists hold protest against tigress’ killing in city

ST CORRESPONDENT
Sunday, 11 November 2018

The protest was organised by Shekhar Nanajkar, President of Wildlife Organisation. There were several wildlife NGO’s and animal lovers who gathered to protest against the killing of tigress Avni.

PUNE: Expressing anger at the killing of T1 tigress, also known as Avni, wildlife activists and animal lovers on Sunday gathered in large numbers at Sambhaji Garden on Jangli Maharaj Road and held a protest rally up to Fergusson College Road. 

They demanded that State Forest Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar should resign for not following the rules and regulations, and allegedly ordering the killing of the maneating tigress.

The protest was organised by Shekhar Nanajkar, President of Wildlife Organisation. There were several wildlife NGO’s and animal lovers who gathered to protest against the killing of tigress Avni. 

During the protest march, Nanajkar raised several questions -  Was Avni really a man-eater, because according to the post-mortem reports of three people it was cleared that they were not killed by the tigress, so how was the decision made that she was a man-eater?  Who took the call to shoot Avni? Were forest officers and others who planned it present at the time of the shooting? Also, the simple rule of ‘Sun down, gun down’ which implies that no animal can be tranquilised past sunset too was violated in this case. Shafath Ali Khan who was ordered to kill Avni did not kill her, rather his son Asghar Ali Khan who was not authorised to kill had killed her, who gave him the permission to do so? Was a veterinary doctor and forest officer present along with the unauthorised shooter? We believe that the tigress was killed first and then tranquilised, also if there is a rule that a tiger can be rehabilitated then why not was that rule followed?

Nanajkar said, “Since the forest minister has not followed the rules, he should resign as he ordered to kill an innocent animal. The two cubs are also not found yet, which means they would be dead by now. Even if they are found, they cannot be released into the forest again because they were too young for their mother to teach hunting. And now they can be only caged. This is injustice on the tigress and her cubs. We are not fighting against the government or court, but we are against not following rules and regulations and killing of the innocent animal, that is why Mungantiwar should resign.”

Neena Rai from People for Animals, Pune, said, “Before killing the tigress we have protested six times in the city. We do not believe in the government now, and we will keep on spreading awareness about the same to people as much as we can. We also demand that once the cubs are found, they should be given to NGOs of Prakash Amte and Maneka Gandhi, as there they could be properly taken care of.”

Satya Natrajan, another animal lover, said, “Our only demand is that everything should be done within the set rules. If this is not followed, then everything is ruined. Now killing of tigress Avni has taken place because rules and regulations were not followed and that is injustice to the animals.”

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