Nagpur: The Bombay high court has asked the state forest department to clear its stand on a plea challenging its decision to kill a “man-eater” tigress in Yavatmal district forests.
Wildlife activist Dr Jerryl Banait and Earth Brigade Foundation have moved the high court challenging forest department’s steps aimed at killing the tigress. The Nagpur bench of the high court on Tuesday issued notice to the forest department seeking its stand by October 19.
Advocate Kartik Shukul, who appeared for the forest department, argued that the issues raised in the petition had already been deliberated upon before the high court and then in the Supreme Court in the first round of litigation. Mr Shukul said that the forest department had deployed a team of over 100 people to make sure that the tigress and her cubs do not wander close to the nearby villages again.
Replying to a query by the bench of justices Bhushan Dharmadhikari and S.M. Modak, Mr Shukul said no deaths have been reported in the last two months because of these measures.
The petitioners have challenged the forest department’s order to tranquillise and kill tigress ‘Avni’ (T-1), suspected to be roaming in Pandharkavda forests in Yavatmal district.
The plea also sought revocation of the appointment of Hyderabad-based sharp shooter Shafaqaut Ali Khan for the job, contending that he lacked the experience of tranquillising wild animals.
The petitioners also demanded the grounds on which Avni was declared as a man-eater, contending that the forest department has no substantial record to substantiate its decision to declare her a man-eater.