We do not deserve this planet…. With Avni, went every right we had on the Planet. Can we claim any right… now? An abode is encroached upon… retaliation… and an order to shoot! Why? Isn’t the right to protect your home and children, your birthright? Then what did Avni do wrong?
Despite the furore against the directive to kill Avni, The forest department issued a shoot-to-kill order for her this year. The shoot-to-kill order was reportedly only to be used as a last resort. It was challenged in courts all the way to the Supreme Court.
A change.org petition to ‘save tigress Avni’ that was signed by over 50,000 people said that her killing would eventually result in the death of her two cubs too, as they are both too young to hunt and survive on their own. The Bombay High Court’s Nagpur Bench last month admitted a PIL that sought a stay on plans to kill Avni and instead capturing her alive. The activists had begun petitioning officials as high as the President of India, requesting him to step in and get the shoot-to-kill order withdrawn.
Instead, what ensued was completely of a different nature. The elusive tigress Avni or T1, who was being hunted for killing and devouring 13 humans in the Pandharkawada- Ralegaon forests of Yavatmal district in eastern Maharashtra over the last two years, was shot dead by a marksman, Nawab Asghar Ali Khan.
For me, and to all those who fought…. fought hard for Avni, 2nd November, will always be a Black Day…. the day humanity and good sense died. I am not interested in the tigress, a mother, being labelled a man eater, because when your home, your abode is attacked, you retaliate. That was Avni’s only fault… The six-year-old mother of two cubs, was protecting her two 10-month old dependent cubs in the vicinity of the Tippeshwar Tiger Sanctuary.
As per the Supreme Court directives, the forest department and officials were required to first tranquilise and trap her, but in Saturday’s operations, she allegedly attacked the stalking team which shot her.
The past few months had become international headlines, relating to the massive hunt for Avni. The forest department had deployed a team of over 100 people to make sure that the tigress and her cubs would not wander close to the nearby villages again. Also employed on the hunt for Avni were around a 100 camera traps, a pack of hunter dogs, drones and a motorised paraglider that was being used to survey the forest from a height of about 1,000 feet.
What marks the end of humanity is the fact that some locals in Yavatmal were seen celebrating tigress Avni’s death, by bursting fire crackers and distributing sweets. That is enough… isn’t it? Till the Circle of Life is disrupted by those who insist and persist on seeking personal gains out of a death of a mother, there will never be peace, there will never be peace….
#RipAvni….. We failed you