Uddhav Thackeray: Those who gave tigress's supari can't probe her death
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, along with Congress and NCP, take potshots at state Forest Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar over the killing of tigress T1
The killing of tigress TI continues to raise hackles, not just in the wildlife circles, but also among politicians, with many taking potshots at Maharashtra forest minister Sudhir Mungantiwar.
Leading the charge was Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, who demanded that a panel be formed under a retired judge to probe the big cat's killing. He said it was farcical on part of the BJP minister to appoint to the panel the very people who were involved in hunting the tigress. "Those who had given the supari [contract] to kill the tigress have been made members of the [probe] committee. It is a farce," Thackeray said, adding, "A judicial committee, preferably of retired judges, should investigate to find irregularities."
"The CM has defended Mungantiwar, saying that the minister cannot be held responsible because he had not pumped bullets into the tigress. Then, how come they [the BJP] take credit for the surgical strike when PM Narendra Modi wasn't there personally?" the Sena president said.
The state government, particularly the Forest Department headed by Mungantiwar, is under a lot of criticism from all quarters over T1's killing, and also due to the state's decision to hire trigger-happy shooter Nawab Shafat Ali Khan and his son Asghar, who eventually fired the fatal shot last week. While Asghar and the Forest Department stated that the tigress was shot in self defence, wildlife activists haven't bought this claim.
Forest Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar responded with a statement calling Thackeray's allegations the "lowest level of politics". He said, "If Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray thinks that the committee is a 'farce' then we are ready to form another committee under his leadership. Uddhavji is an important figure in the alliance between the BJP and the Sena. If he does not want to head a committee, he should realise I have already asked the chief minister to appoint a committee under retired Supreme Court judges. The lowest level of politics is unnecessarily being played over the issue."
NCP's Awhad tweets
Senior NCP leader Jitendra Awhad tweeted, "According to sources, international golfer #JyotiRandhawa provided the ammunition for the .300 Winchester magnum rifle that was used by the Nawab's son to shoot T1 dead."
He explained to mid-day, "My sources told me that the gun used to shoot the tigress was a prohibited firearm that cannot be used for such an operation. The permission to shoot the tigress - if tranquilising efforts failed - was in the name of Nawab Shafat Ali Khan, but his son shot the tigress with a prohibited weapon. Involving a trigger-happy shooter with a controversial background was the biggest mistake made by the Forest Department."
Inputs by Dharmendra Jore
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