T1 Avni's killing - NIA probe is must to unravel the truth
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Hon’ble Pradhan Mantri ji,
Sub: The killing of T1 Avni – Request for NIA probe
Inspired by your message on the occasion of the Environment Day to connect people with the nature, we have started www.thenatureconnect.com through which we keep raising issues of ecological importance.
We have been running campaigns to save the environment, save the Parsik Hills and mangroves and wetlands in Mumbai Metropolitan Region etc.,
We salute you for your commitment and making a strong pitch for tiger conservation. Inaugurating the 3rd Asia Ministerial Conference on Tiger Conservation two years ago, you have rightly said: "We need to define conservation as a means to achieve development rather than considering it to be anti-growth. I strongly believe that tiger conservation or conservation of nature, is not a drag on development."
We would like to bring to your notice a crucial issue related to man-wildlife conflict – the killing of T1 or Avni tigress which had been declared a man-eater.
This also brings into sharp focus the debate over the disappearance of Jay, the tiger which had mysteriously disappeared into the oblivion. The iconic tiger, per media reports, went missing from Maharashtra’s Umred Karhandla Wildlife Sanctuary, Nagpur, and is presumably dead now..
These issues are of grave concern to all wildlife lovers and those who are keen to preserve the bio-diversity and ecological balance.
This calls for a thorough probe by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) as any internal probe could be biased.
CBI, sir, has its hands full and the Board itself mired in its own internal feuds.
The killing of T1 has in particular raised several questions as, apparently, no efforts were made to take alternative routes either to isolate or tranquilise the tigress. Veterinary experts say that the NCTA (National Tiger Conservation Authority) guidelines and SOPs were not adhered to.
Noted veterinarian and forensic expert Dr Prayag H S tells us that proper procedures were not followed even before declaring T1 as a man-eater. There is no concrete and substantial evidence to show this either, he says.
Supporting the request for an NIA probe, Mr Kishor Rithe, Founder of Satpuda Foundation, tells thenatureconnect.com that the inquiry must take into account the human-carnivore conflict as 13 people had lost their lives in Yavatmal and over 90 in Chandrapur districts. In such a situation, blaming one Tigress is improper. The issue needs to be addressed address from centre as well as state.
We demand that the comprehensive, high-level investigation must find out the causes behind this conflict and come out with solutions. This will help to avoid many big cats following the Avni story in Vidarbha.
As Mr Rithe says, we should not to use hunters in any such operation and only forest shooters to be deployed which can avoid bias. “It is also very important to keep tiger corridors (identified by WII) safe from developmental projects.”
Shree Ekvira Aai Pratishtan (SEAP), NGO fighting for environment protection, also joins us in requesting you for an NIA probe into Avni’s killing. SEAP head Nandakumar Pawar says: "it's a cold blooded murder”.
There are many more statements coming up. Let various politicians say what they want. Many may also make emotional points. But, sir, we are concerned with justice and the rule of law.
Only an impartial, unbiased and un-involved inquiry will bring forth the facts which could help save the wildlife.
Couldn’t Avni have been saved? The way the tranquiliser dart was shot, the way the big cat was killed….all raise doubts in the minds of right thinking people.
Truth must come out and sanctity must prevail.
As the Chairman of the National Wildlife Board and as animal lover, we are confident, that you will agree with us that only a high level probe by NIA will help unravel the truth.
B N KUMAR
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