As­ghar Ali guilty of unau­tho­rised killing of ti­gress T1, says re­port

It also men­tions that the shooter ap­pears to have clan­des­tinely moved the weapons as well as sched­uled drugs used in the op­er­a­tion to Hy­der­abad with­out in­form­ing the au­thor­i­ties

Mid Day - - City - RAN­JEET JAD­HAV ran­jeet.jad­[email protected] State-ap­pointed com­mit­tee prob­ing the death of ti­gress T1

DAYS be­fore be­ing shot dead, ti­gress T1 had com­pletely lost the fear of hu­mans and was re­spon­si­ble for a num­ber of deaths in the Pand­harkawda area, the re­port of the state-ap­pointed com­mit­tee prob­ing her death con­firms. How­ever, what is more alarm­ing is that the com­mit­tee has sought ac­tion against shooter As­ghar Ali, son of Nawab Shafat Ali Khan, as he has been found to be re­spon­si­ble for vi­o­la­tions with re­gards to the Arms Act and the vet­eri­nary drugs used in the killing of the ti­gress.

The com­mit­tee says, “Ac­cord­ing to our find­ings, it is clear that As­ghar Ali is prima fa­cie guilty of unau­tho­rised shoot­ing and killing of ti­gress T1. He ap­pears to have clan­des­tinely moved the weapons as well as sched­uled drugs used in the op­er­a­tion to Hy­der­abad with­out in­form­ing the au­thor­i­ties. This opens up the pos­si­bil­ity of im­por­tant ev­i­dence be­ing tam­pered with. There­fore, cases should im­me­di­ately be reg­is­tered against As­ghar Ali un­der the Wildlife (Pro­tec­tion) Act, 1972, Arms Act, 1959 and Nar­cotic Drugs and Psy­chotropic Sub­stances Act, 1985. These in­ves­ti­ga­tions should also ex­am­ine the role and cul­pa­bil­ity of Shafat Ali Khan and other mem­bers of the team in­volved in the op­er­a­tions.”

Find­ing out ex­i­gen­cies

The main aim of the com­mit­tee was to see whether ef­forts were made to tran­quilise and cap­ture the ti­gress post the or­ders on Septem­ber 4, 2018. To find out the ex­i­gen­cies that arose at the spot on Novem­ber 2, 2018, which led to the killing of Avni, the team an­a­lysed whether the guide­lines is­sued by the Na­tional Tiger Con­ser­va­tion Author­ity were im­ple­mented dur­ing the op­er­a­tion.

In the in­tro­duc­tory para­graph of the re­port, the com­mit­tee has men­tioned, “Ev­i­dence con­firms that not only T1, but even T2 and the two cubs preyed on live­stock and hu­mans.” It is also of the opin­ion that ju­di­cial in­ter­ven­tions by ac­tivists led to the de­lay and con­fu­sion in field op­er­a­tions and un­nec­es­sary deaths of hu­mans.

To un­der­stand the ex­i­gen­cies that arose at the spot, the com­mit­tee mem­bers had vis­ited the places fre­quented by the ti­gress, her cubs and T2. They also in­spected the spots where she had killed hu­mans. They then vis­ited the site where T1 was killed and asked both the groups in­volved in the op­er­a­tion, which com­prised As­ghar Ali, forester Mukhbir Sheikh, driver Sal­man Khan, for­est guards Dilip Ma­hade­vrao Keram and Govind Gyanoba Ken­dre, to en­act the se­quence of events that hap­pened on Novem­ber 2.

Not con­vinc­ing

The re­port adds, “The com­mit­tee was ex­tremely sur­prised when As­ghar Ali said that he does not re­mem­ber which of the two guns he claimed he was car­ry­ing was used to shoot the tiger. It was clear from the in­ves­ti­ga­tion that the firearms that were used by As­ghar Ali and the tran­quil­is­ing gun al­legedly used by Mukhbir Singh were not im­me­di­ately de­posited with the for­est depart­ment of­fi­cials. And the ex­pla­na­tion he gave for it was not con­vinc­ing. The fact that they have not been de­posited with the for­est depart­ment de­spite re­peated re­quests and re­minders, raises se­ri­ous doubts about the mo­tives of As­ghar Ali and Shafat Ali Khan.”

“The com­mit­tee strongly and unan­i­mously opines that the pro­tec­tion sought by and for As­ghar Ali Khan un­der the plea of self-de­fence or de­fence of other per­sons, is not ap­pli­ca­ble in this case. His ac­tion has to be in­ves­ti­gated un­der WLPA, Arms Act 1959 and NDPS Act 1985 fol­low­ing all due pro­ce­dures,” the re­port con­cludes.

‘The com­mit­tee unan­i­mously opines that the pro­tec­tion sought by and for As­ghar Ali Khan un­der the plea of self-de­fence or de­fence of other per­sons, is not ap­pli­ca­ble in this case. His ac­tion has to be in­ves­ti­gated un­der WLPA, Arms Act 1959 and NDPS Act 1985’

mid-day’s re­port on Nov 4, 2018; (right) Ti­gress T1 cap­tured on a cam­era trap.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.