Rahul Gandhi, Harsh Vardhan spar over killing of tigress, Avni
Hitting back at Rahul Gandhi for slamming Centre over the killing of tigress Avni (T-1), Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan said that no previous government has worked with the kind of "depth and seriousness" this dispensation has. The government does not need a certificate from Rahul Gandhi, Vardhan added. Avni was reportedly responsible for the deaths of 13 people in the past two years.
The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) November 5, 2018
Asked if his ministry has sought a report, the Environment Minister said, "This is a natural process. Whenever there is any incident, report comes to the department." Meanwhile, animal rights activist and the Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi yesterday lashed out at the BJP-led Maharashtra government over the "ghastly murder" of the man-eating tigress, calling it a "straight case of crime".
Maneka had said she was deeply saddened by the way the tigress was brutally killed. "It is nothing but a straight case of crime. Despite several requests from many stakeholders, (Sudhir) Mungantiwar, Minister for Forests, Maharashtra, gave orders for the killing," she said in a series of tweets adding she will take the matter up with Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
I am definitely going to take up this case of utter lack of empathy for animals as a test case. Legally, criminally as well as politically. #Justice4TigressAvni— Maneka Gandhi (@Manekagandhibjp) November 4, 2018
Shafat Ali Khan has killed 3 tigers, at least 10 leopards, a few elephants and 300 wild boar in Chandrapur, #Maharashtra. He is a criminal known for supplying guns to anti- nationals and for a suspected case of murder in #Hyderabad.— Maneka Gandhi (@Manekagandhibjp) November 4, 2018
In a counter-attack, Mungantiwar said today that Maneka "lacks information" on the issue and that she can order a high-level probe, if she so desires. The killing of Avni, which is survived by her two 10-month-old cubs, has also been criticized by various other bodies.
Animal rights body PETA India said on Saturday the killing of the tiger, as part of an operation in Maharashtra, should be investigated and treated as a wildlife crime. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India said Avni was killed "illegally to satisfy a hunter's lust for blood", in contempt of court and in apparent violation of the Wildlife Protection Act.