Since Tigress Avni was killed, it left dozens of questions unanswered. On Wednesday Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray claimed that he learnt tigress Avni was killed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Maharashtra government to save a proposed project of Businessman Anil Ambani in Yuvatmal district.
Meanwhile, the allegations have been denied by businessman and a district official. According to the report, Anil Ambani does not have any project in Yuvatmal district.
A Spokesperson of Anil Ambani group quoted by Financial Express as saying that the site of the proposed project by the Ambani group is far away from the area where the tigress Avni was shot. There is no connection between the project and the decision to kill the animal.
The tigress Avni — which was believed to have turned a man-eater and allegedly killed 13 people in the district’s Pandharkawda area in the period of two years, was shot dead by a shooter hired by the government.
“I have learnt that Avni was killed to save Anil Ambani’s project. The government has sold its conscience to Ambani,” Thackeray told reporters.
“I feel sad about the deaths of people (killed by the tigress). But it happens across the world. When people encroach on forest land and in the periphery of habitats of wild animals, they attack humans,” he said.
Adding that he said, “There was no need to kill the tigress. She could have been tranquilised. (Forest Minister Sudhir) Mungantiwar is making reckless statements which can cost him his cabinet berth.”
The tigress was killed by Asgar Ali — son of famous sharp-shooter — Nawab Shafat Ali — in the Borati forest in Yavatmal district. Tiger Avni is survived by two cubs, who are said to be 10-month-old.
Union Minister Maneka Gandhi had slammed the Maharashtra government calling it a “ghastly murder”. A source in the Shiv Sena, a BJP ally, claimed that party president Uddhav Thackeray had reportedly asked Sena ministers to raise the issue in the next cabinet meeting.