THE KILLING of tigress Avni’s came up in the state Cabinet meeting on Tuesday with Shiv Sena leader and Environment Minister Ramdas Kadam seeking a judicial inquiry into the case.
Speaking to mediapersons after the meeting, Kadam said: “We have demanded a judical probe in the killing of the tigress. We have also taken up the matter with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. How can the forest department, whose role is a suspect, conduct the investigation in the matter?”
Kadam was referring to Forest Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar setting up a four-member panel to probe the killing of the tigress. The government and Mungantiwar has come under fire over the killing of the tigress, who was believed to have killed 13 people in the last two years in Yavatmal district. The government, however, had claimed that the tigress was killed after it attacked forest staff trying to tranquilise it.
Kadam, along with party colleagues and Cabinet ministers Eknath Shinde, Subash Desai and Diwakar Raote claimed that Mungantiwar had said that Sena chief “Uddhav Thackeray should head the probe into tiger killing”.
“We definitely know that Uddhavji has more knowledge about the wildlife and forests. We dare Mungantiwar to constitute a committee lead by Uddhav Thackeray to probe the killing of the tigress,” said a Sena minister.
“There are questions as to why the tigress was not tranquilised. Why did they kill her. What are the safeguards taken to protect her two cubs,” another party minister added.
Sena MoS for Housing, Ravindra Waikar, said: “Uddhavji’s knowledge about wildlife photography is known to all. We dare Mungantiwar to hand over the probe to Uddhavji.” On Saturday, Uddhav had described as “farce” the committee constituted by the state government to probe the killing of Avni. He had demanded that a panel be formed under a retired judge to probe the tigress’ killing.