Maha minister slams Maneka Gandhi for comments on Tigress Avni

    Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India]. Nov 5 (The Eastern Herald): Hitting back at Union Minister Maneka Gandhi over her comments on the killing of Tigress Avni, Maharashtra Forest Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar said that he would have been happy if Gandhi had spoken to him before commenting on the matter.Mungantiwar said, “I would have been happy if Maneka Gandhi had talked to me before commenting on the issue. 13 people were killed and on the guidelines of National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), the decision to kill Avni was taken.”He added that it would be wrong of Gandhi to doubt the integrity of the forest officials.”Neither I nor the forest department had taken the decision. Officials were trying to capture her from the last one-and-half months. When they tranquilised her, she attacked them so they had to shoot her. It will be wrong to doubt the integrity of the forest officials,” Mungantiwar elucidated.Continuing his tirade against Gandhi, the Maharashtra Forest Minister said that if she thinks “any tiger or tigress should not be killed even if it is a man-eater, then the decision should be taken by the Centre regarding it.”Earlier on Sunday, Gandhi had hit out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Maharashtra government over the tigress’ killing and termed it a “straight case of crime”.In a series of tweets, Gandhi had said, “I am deeply saddened by the way tigress Avni has been brutally murdered in Yavatmal.”Vowing to take up the issue “legally, criminally as well as politically”, the Union Minister also came down heavily on Mungantiwar, and said that many animals and not only Avni, have been gunned down on the latter’s directives.Avni, who was a man-eater tigress, was killed in Yavatmal on Friday night. She was allegedly responsible for the death of 13 people in the Pandharkawda forest in Maharashtra. (The Eastern Herald)

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