Union Minister of Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi on Wednesday asserted that attempts were being made to “kill” the tigress Avni’s missing cubs and urged Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to accept help from an independent team of veterinarians to locate the two cubs.
Upping the ante against the Maharashtra Government in the wake of this month’s shooting of the tigress that is said to have killed 13 people, Ms. Gandhi shot off an angry letter to Mr. Fadnavis expressing displeasure over the efforts being made by the State’s authorities to trace the two 10-month old cubs.
“We had sent a team of NGOs to Yavatmal recently and found that no attempts was being made by the local forest department or the CWLW to catch the cubs,” Ms Gandhi wrote. “They were told by the villagers that the team had been advised not to catch them [the cubs] until they died or to see that they were killed,” she added.
The Union minister also urged the State government to appoint a team of vets and experts from different States to assist its efforts.
‘Teams from outside’
“May I suggest that in the face of national anger at the killing of the mother and the concerns around the plight of the cubs, you get teams of veterinarian and forest people from outside,” Ms. Gandhi wrote, adding that the team could include vets from Madhya Pradesh and Kerala.
Maharashtra government officials said Ms. Gandhi had also followed up her letter with a phone call to Mr. Fadnavis.