Yavatmal: While tiger lovers held prayers across the country in memory of ‘Avni’, the man-eater tigress , villagers of Yavatmal district in Maharastra celebrated her death by facilitating the animal’s killers.

Hyderabad-based sharp-shooter Nawab Shafath Ali Khan and his son Asghar Ali Khan who put Avni to rest, were honoured by people from 19 villages on Saturday, which happens to be her first death anniversary.

“ We are celebrating the peace and tranquility that has been restored in our 19 villages after shooting the man-eating tigress T1 on November 2nd 2018. This brought an end to the two and a half years of terror created by Avni. On this day, we remember the 13 innocent victims who lost their lives and other victims who were crushed down by the tame elephant that was brought to capture T1”, said Ankush Muneshwar, a sarpanch of Vedshi Village.

Farmers, sarpanches of 19 affected villages thanked the father-son duo by presenting them Rs 21,000 as a token of gratitude. Villagers in their humble means have funded the money.

Speaking to NewsMeter, Nawab Shafath Ali Khan said, “Many false claims had been raised by some NGOs and politicians having vested interest that T1 tigress was not a man eater and that a wrong tiger was shot. This has been proved false, ever since the man-eater Avni has been shot, not a single human attack or kill has been reported in the last one year. Time has silenced them.”

The tigress was shot dead by Asghar Ali Khan following an order by the then principal chief conservator of forest (PCCF, wildlife) A K Mishra after she was confirmed to have killed many people in Pandharkawda area of Yavatmal district in the previous years .
The father-son duo were invited to Maharashtra to execute the killing. Machinery including drones, hang-glider and special dogs were used in the operation.

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