'When tigress Avni (T1) came, they started the lights and shot her'
Audio allegedly about how Pandharkawda tigress T1 also known as Avni was murdered in cold blood goes viral, sparks fresh row
The tigress is gone but the theories around her killing continue to burn bright. An over minute-long audio clip, supposedly between a veterinarian and a member of the team that killed T1 or Avni in Pandharkawda, discussing how she was shot point-blank, has now gone viral.
Activists are also alleging that Asghar, the son of Nawab Shafat Ali Khan, who shot her, has not handed over his weapon for the ballistic report and forensic investigations.
Forest Department officials have maintained they shot the tigress in self-defence. A senior official from the Forest Department said, "I have heard the audio clip which has gone viral, but people are deliberately circulating it to spread misinformation and to portray the FD in a bad light. We are firm on our stand. The tigress was shot in self-defence and the postmortem report and the other investigations will prove our stand."
The handout photo released by the Forest Department showing T1 shot dead
The audio clip
In the audio clip two persons are talking to each other and it is being claimed that one is a veterinary doctor and the other is a member of the team that shot T1. This is the conversation:
Person 1: It seems no one was informed before the incident.
Person 2: As per the protocol, there should have been an officer of RFO (Range Forest Officer) of ACF (Assistant conservator of forests) rank, who should have been present with the team. But that protocol was broken as none of the officials was present. The team used to roam in the area as per their wish and at least three times they sighted the tigress. They knew about the location because there is a nullah close to where she used to come to kill the cattle which used to rest there, and there is also a good prey base there. The team was sitting at the location and when the tigress came, they started the lights and shot her."
Person 1: They did not tranquilise the tigress?
Person 2: No. Everything will be revealed in the PM report
Weapon not handed over
A section of activists are also alleging that Asghar, the son of Nawab Shafat Ali Khan, who killed the tigress, has still not handed over the shooting weapon for the ballistic report and forensic investigations.
When questioned about the same, a senior forest department official said, "Immediately after the incident, the Nawab's son left for Hyderabad because the situation here were very tense, and so we have asked his father to produce the gun for ballistic and forensic investigations."
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