I did not order the assassination of Avni, says the Minister of Forests, Sudhir Mungantiwar

Maharashtra Forest Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar said on Tuesday that the murder of the tiger Avni had been sanctioned by the Supreme Court and those who opposed it should ask themselves whether or not they would be killed. to accuse.

"When the Forestry Department presented the facts, the Supreme Court also admitted that it was the same tigress, a man eater. The court allowed us to capture her or kill her if the capture attempt failed, "Mungantiwar said during a meeting with L & # 39; Hindu. He added that about 200 officials had been working for more than two months to capture Avni and that the measure to kill him had only been taken after the efforts had been unsuccessful.

"Proposal made by the jury"

Claiming that permission to kill Avni did not come from him, he stated that a committee composed of a wildlife guard had prepared a proposal and that Forest Chief Chief Registrar had approved it . "Tying different motives, such as the interests of local businesses for the murder of the tigress, is an attempt to make the Supreme Court an accused," he said.

Ssuking the Minister of the Union for the Development of Women and Children, Maneka Gandhi, who held him responsible for the death of Avni and has demanded his resignation, Mungantiwar said his statements were "laughable". "Maneka Gandhi is responsible for deaths due to malnutrition in this country? Is the Minister of Agriculture responsible for the deaths of farmers? There is a department, a system, "he said. "Claims should only be leveled if at least one piece of evidence is available. It seems that the strategy is not only to lie, but to continue to insist on lying. "

Blocking Ms. Gandhi for calling Shafat Ali, the hunter appointed by the state government to kill Avni, a nationalist, Mr. Mungantiwar asked why she had not communicated information about his anti-national activities to the Minister of the Interior of the Union.

Commenting on the observations made in the autopsy report, the report indicated that the tigress looked away when she was touched and that the dart did not show the impact of the firing of a syringe gun, the Minister said that a committee had been formed to review the case.

The minister said that the entire operation had been conducted taking into account the concern of the rural population of the region and that the demonstrations in urban areas resulted from the fact that they were misled by a handful of people. "These demonstrations are the result of not understanding the facts. Whether it is with political intent or not, it will soon be clear, "he said.