New Delhi, November 7: Shooter Shafat Ali Khan, whose son Asghar Ali killed the man-eating tigress 'Avni', said those criticising the forest department's operation are short on facts. A thorough probe, he added, would expose the "baseless allegations" being levelled by animal rights' activists.
Specifically hitting out at Union Minister Maneka Gandhi, who referred to the officials involved in the neutralisation of tigress Anvi as "murderers", Shafat said he would pursue a legal battle if required to clear the defamatory charges levelled against his son. Tigress Avni Killing: Maneka Gandhi Asks for Maharashtra Forest Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar Resignation.
"My son killed Avni tigress in self-defence as attempt to tranquillise failed and tigress was going to attack. We are going to take legal opinion and we are thinking of suing Minister Maneka Gandhi for making baseless allegations against us," he said.
"People sitting in AC rooms and levelling allegations against us is not right. There is no FIR in any police station or any case in court against me. Till now I haven’t killed any animal without proper government order," he further told news agency ANI.
The deceased tigress, officially known as T1, was killed on November 2 in a village in Maharashtra's Yavatmal district. On her death, the villagers celebrated with firecrackers as she had hunted down 13 human beings so far. Her neutralisation, thus, came as a major relief for the villagers.
According to Asghar Ali, the team he led had attempted to tranquilise and capture the man-eater till the end. "A forester had fired the dart (to tranquilise her). But in a fraction of second she charged towards us with a roar. If I had not opened fire, it would have killed 2-3 people," said Asghar Ali Khan recalling that the big cat was just 6-8 meter away.