Taking strong exception to Maneka Gandhi’s criticism over tigress Avni’s killing, Maharashtra Forest Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar said that the Union minister "lacks information" on the issue.
At the same time, he added that the state is ready to conduct a high-level probe if she wants to. Mungantiwar's statement comes a day after the Union Women and Child Development minister lashed out at the Maharashtra government over the "ghastly murder" of the tigress, T1, as she was known officially, calling it a "straight case of crime".
The tigress, survived by her two 10-months old cubs, was believed to be responsible for the deaths of 13 people in the past two years. She was later shot dead by sharp-shooter Asgar Ali in the Borati forest in Maharashtra’s Yavamtal district on Friday.
"She (Maneka Gandhi) loves animals. She is, however, Minister for Women and Child Development. I have to consider the women who have been killed by the tigress," Mungantiwar said.
If she deems fit, she can suggest changes in the NTCA guidelines, the senior state minister said.
Both Mungantiwar and Gandhi are members of the BJP. The Maharashtra minister said orders to capture the tigress were given when she killed five people.
A fresh row has been kicked off over Avni’s killing and several social workers have responded strongly over social media. Congress president Rahul Gandhi also on Monday has expressed his concern over killing of Tiger Avni, shot down by a marksman, Nawab Asghar Ali Khan on Saturday night. Avid animal lover Jerryl Banait, who has filed many pleas in the HC and SC on T1, stated that he feels that the forest department did not follow the proper procedure.