Tigress hunt: Trigger-happy shooter Nawab Shafat Ali Khan rejoins hunt for rogue T1
A junior forest department official who is involved in tracking the tigress and her two cubs said that shooter Nawab Shafat Ali Khan is back in Pandharkawda and he is unofficially involved in the operation
The Maharashtra Forest Department (FD) is facing flak for bringing controversial trigger-happy shooter, Nawab Shafat Ali Khan, back to the operation to capture tigress T1 and her cubs. After the timely intervention by MP and Union Minister Maneka Gandhi, the FD had officially given him the boot.
Confirming the development, a junior forest department official who is involved in tracking the tigress and her two cubs said, "Nawab Shafat Ali Khan is back in Pandharkawda and at present he is unofficially involved in the operation. He is on standby and will accompany our veterinary teams, with strict instructions that the tigress and her cubs are to be trapped alive.
There is huge pressure on the department, not just from the local villagers, but also from wildlife and nature lovers who have been vocal about his involvement. We are trying our best to capture the tigress and her cubs. We are praying that there is no human casualty in the man-animal conflict because things will go out of hand in such a case. The FD always faces the consequences and criticism, but only if you stand in our shoes you will understand the problem."
Villagers from Pandharkawda confirmed to mid-day that they had spotted the Nawab. Sources from the FD also confirmed to mid-day that in the wee hours of Saturday, the tigress killed a horse which is being used as bait, and her image and pugmarks were identified after the teams checked the camera traps and Pressure Impression Pads (PIP). The forest department has a total of 10 teams on ground to track the tigress.
A wildlife lover who has been following the operation, fears that the tigress will be killed by the nawab. "What is the need to involve a trigger-happy and controversial person to capture the tigress? This proves that the forest department and government don't trust their staff, which is unfortunate, as we have many experts. Now, I am being told that the nawab will only assist the team.
But, I feel he will kill the tigress and cook up a story saying she tried to attack the team and there was no option but to shoot in self-defence." Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) Wildlife, A K Misra was not available for comment despite several attempts to contact him.
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