‘Avni was starv­ing when she was killed’

The New Indian Express - - INDIA -

THE tran­quiliser dart fired at ti­gress Avni be­fore she was shot and killed on Novem­ber 2, did not punc­ture her skin for it to have en­tered her blood­stream, the pro­vi­sional au­topsy re­port re­vealed on Fri­day.

The re­port has also said Avni was starv­ing for sev­eral days be­fore her death, rais­ing con­cerns over the fate of her two cubs, who are still miss­ing, and the man­ner of her killing.

Avni’s killing had led to out­rage among wildlife ac­tivists in the coun­try, sev­eral of whom raised ques­tions over the man­ner of her killing and the need for it. It had also led to a war of words be­tween Union Women and Child De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Maneka Gandhi and the state govern­ment as she con­demned the use of con­tro­ver­sial shooter As­gar Ali and de­manded a probe into the killing.

The state’s Forests Min­is­ter, Sud­hir Mun­gan­ti­war, had de­fended the de­ci­sion.

The re­port also states that the bul­let fired to kill her had pierced near the shoul­der and punc­tured her lungs.

Mean­while, Union Min­is­ter for Road Trans­port Nitin Gad­kari on Fri­day termed the de­mands for Mun­gan­ti­war’s res­ig­na­tion as “laugh­able”.

Terming Avni’s killing as “un­for­tu­nate”, Gad­kari said no­body has ex­pressed sad­ness over the 13 trib­als killed by her. The peo­ple in the re­gion had lived un­der Avni’s fear for a long time and never ven­tured out of their homes af­ter dark, but no one spared a thought for these fam­i­lies, he said. Laud­ing Mun­gan­ti­war, Gad­kari said the min­is­ter had done com­mend­able work in en­sur­ing Nag­pur was de­clared the coun­try’s tiger cap­i­tal.

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