Maharashtra Forest Department has given a clean chit to the shooters of Avni – in spite of detailed findings to the contrary by NTCA and the State Committee. It is fortunate that not everyone is taking the nonsense sitting down. Here’s what MidDay.Com has reported:
Feb 08, 2019, 11:50 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav
mid-day accesses strongly-worded NTCA letter asking Chief Secretary’s intervention against rogue hunter
Protest in Goa on the first month death anniversary of Avni | December 02, 2018
The timeline on Avni/ T1 case
June 2016: Rumours began circulating about a man-eater tigress in Pandharkawada.
August 2016: Announcement of a land sale related transaction between Ambanis and MP Birla group in the same forest region.
1. Feb 2016: Acquisition of Cement Company (PDF).
2. August 22, 2016: Completion of the deal.
3. August 2017: Expansion plans for Yavatmal by Birla group revealed.
Partly decomposed mutilated human bodies found inside the forest were blamed by the Forest Department on Avni / T1. But with absolutely no conclusive DNA reports as proof.
Victim’s family received a Compensation of 8 lakhs. Never mind they were illegally inside the forests. Protection of wildlife act prohibits grazing INSIDE forests (FDCM).
There does not appear to be any serious effort on the part of the Forest Department of Maharashtra to enforce the law and regulate the entry of the local people (mostly for illegal cattle grazing) inside the area.
4. January 22, 2018: Another announcement on the division of forest land.
And promptly the same land was handed over to the Ambanis. What followed next was predictable, in retrospect.
January 29, 2018: The first shoot to kill order for the Tigress T1(Avni) by the PCCF. Incidentally, PCCF is the very agency charged with protecting wildlife.
Locals have stated categorically that villagers were illegally taking their cattle into the forest where Avni and her new-born cubs resided.
Without any consideration for the above, the PCCF hastily appointed Shafat Ali Khan to shoot the Tigress and was officially reprimanded for this nationwide.
PCCF issued another capture order for male Tiger/T2 – to pave the way for expansion plans of the cement factory, perhaps?
5. August 8, 2018: Announcement of expansion plan with a budget of 2000 plus crores.
6. November 02, 2018: post their announcement for expansion on August 4, 2018, bizarrely, on the same day, after a long gap of 6 months a Forest Department ‘Field Monitoring Team’ allegedly spots the tigress and cubs, and soon after, a human body is discovered and conveniently blame laid on Avni/T1.
7. Nationwide outrage and condemnation of Forest Department and the head of its Ministry.
8. The loose defence by the hunter who did not have an official permission to begin with falls flat.
The post-mortem report contradicts the ‘shot in self-defence’ excuse.
More investigation by the media follows – with the same result: Avni was not shot in self-defence but murdered in cold blood.
9. November 22, 2018: The committee formed to investigate the killing of Avni/T1 finds the operation was in complete violation of the wildlife protection act.
Watch the painstakingly created field report by Amey Deshmukh.
Learn what the smiling face of the Forest Minister is desperately trying to hide from you.