Tigress Avni killing: Maneka Gandhi urges Fadnavis to sack forest minister

New Delhi [India]: Union Minister for Women and Child Development and animal rights activist Maneka Gandhi on Tuesday wrote a letter to the Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis seeking removal of Sudhir Mungantiwar, State Minister of environment and forest.

Gandhi has claimed that tigress Avni could have been saved had the minister in-charge been “little more sensitive.”

Tigress Avni was killed in Maharashtra’s Yavatmal on November 2. She had allegedly killed 14 people.

The union minister also quoted an ANI report and underlined that since the Chief Minister had expressed his concern over tigress Avni’s killing, he should consider sacking his cabinet minister.

“Maneka ji’s words were harsh but we should understand her feelings as she is an animal lover,” Fadnavis told ANI on Monday.

In the letter she has stated, “I request you to fix the responsibility for the illegal killing of the tigress and consider removing Mugantiwar from the responsibility of the Ministry of Environment and Forest in the state government.”

She also alleged that Mungantiwar had failed to do his duty and has justified public’s anger after Avni’s killing. She said, “If the Environment d Forest Minister resorts to killing of animals instead of protecting them, he is definitely failing in his duty.”

Reacting to Union Minister’s letter, Sudhir Mungantiwar told ANI, “If party chief and Maharashtra Chief Minister think that I am a burden then they can remove me. This can’t be decided by Maneka Ji and, moreover, she is not authorised to do so. She (Maneka Gandhi) should work against malnutrition and child deaths, rather than seeking someone’s resignation. I also think tigers are important but I feel human life is equally important. Don’t know what she doesn’t understand.”

On November 4, Maneka Gandhi, expressed grief over the killing of the tigress and said, “Deeply saddened by the way the tigress Avni has been murdered by a professional anti-national killer at the behest of the Maharashtra minister for Environment and Forests in Yavatmal. It is nothing but a straight case of crime.”