Tigress Hunt: Controversial Shooter Nawab Shafat Ali Khan booted out of T1 hunt
State forest minister confirms Union Minister Maneka Gandhi has promised to bring back MP team to tranquilise the rogue tigress
It's confirmed. The controversial, trigger-happy shooter, Nawab Shafat Ali Khan, against whom mid-day has been consistently writing about, will no longer be part of the operation to capture tigress T1, that has been allegedly responsible for killing 13 people over two years. On Friday, mid-day had reported that the nawab would be sent back ('Controversial shooter Nawab Shafat Ali Khan told to go back home').
After the timely intervention by MP and union minister Maneka Gandhi, the Maharashtra forest department has officially given him the boot. The good news is also that a team of experts from the Madhya Pradesh forest department led by Dr Akhilesh Mishra, will soon be in Pandharkawda to capture the elusive tigress and her two cubs.
Senior BJP leader and Women and Child Welfare Minister Maneka Gandhi. File pic
'Tranquilise and capture'
Gandhi had also taken serious note of the series of reports in mid-day, which had highlighted the fact that Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (PCCF) – Wildlife AK Misra sent a senior woman forest department officer to the nawab's hotel at night to apologise over a perceived slight.
Speaking to mid-day, senior BJP leader and Women and Child Welfare minister, Maneka Gandhi, who is a well-known animal lover, said, "I have asked higher-ups in the MP forest department to send Dr Akhilesh Mishra along with elephants, and whatever is needed to safely tranquilise the tigress and her cubs. The authorities who are working on the operation should understand that it's not just about one tigress, but there are two cubs, too. Unfortunately, Maharashtra is the only state in the country, that frequently orders the elimination of tigers and leopards post man-animal conflict incidents. In my own constituency, Pilibhit, a tiger had killed 19 people, but with the help of experts, it was safely captured and relocated."
Nawab not part of op
PCCF Misra said, "Maneka Gandhi had a word with state forest minister Sudhir Mungantiwar regarding the tigress. He has also conveyed that we don't want to eliminate the big cat, but to capture her safely along with her cubs. We will be in touch with Gandhi, so that the best of facilities and teams are deployed on the ground to trap the tigress. The process to get an expert team from MP has also begun at the higher level. We are also sending a letter to the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), requesting it to provide us all the required help in order to tranquilise and capture the tigress and her cubs. Nawab Shafat Ali Khan is no longer a part of this operation."
In a meeting that took place in Mantralaya on Friday, senior forest department officials and Mungantiwar discussed operation Tigress T1. The PCCF of Maharashtra has also written to PCCF of MP and an expert team from the state, led by veterinarian Dr Akhilesh Mishra. Two more elephants will also be brought in for the operation. Members of the forest department team, which are taking efforts on ground and are trying to capture the tigress alive, are happy that the Nawab has been sent back.
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