Nagpur, Nov 12 (IANS) Tigress Avni was shot and killed “when she was facing away” from the gunman hired by the Maharashtra government, the report of an independent government-appointed expert revealed here on Monday.
The detailed analytical report has been prepared by Wildlife Biologist Milind Pariwakam of the Wildlife Conservation Trust (WCT) who attended Avni’s autopsy as a representative of Maharashtra’s Principal Chief Conservator of Forests.
“Bullet trajectory as inferred from the post-mortem observations shows that the animal was facing away from the person who fired the bullet,” Pariwakam has stated in the report, which forms an annexure to the autopsy report released earlier.
Contacted by IANS, Pariwakam declined to comment as separate committees appointed by the Centre and the state government are now probing the tigress’ shooting.
Pariwakam’s report raises doubts on the claims made by the hired shooter and officials that Avni was shot in ‘self-defence’ after a darting attempt failed.
The tigress – identified as T1 – was shot dead in a late night operation on November 2 in the Pandharkavada Forest Division of Yavatmal district, sparking outrage and a public spat between Union Minister Maneka Gandhi and Maharashtra Forest Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar.