The controversial shooting of an alleged ‘man-eater’ tigress Avni on November 2 in Maharashtra’s Yavatmal district sparked a nationwide debate involving wildlife conservationists, locals, forest rights activists and politicians.

Urban wildlife conservation groups blamed people living in and near the tiger reserve, seeking a complete ban on human activities. This led to strong criticism from forest rights and tribal activists. Two separate expert committees have been set up by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) and Maharashtra, reflecting the seriousness with which the government has treated this outrage.

However, the issue has now disappeared from public memory as the upcoming general elections, CBI and Rafale have come to occupy centre stage. Apart from Maneka Gandhi, no mainstream political party or politician came out in support of the wildlife conservation groups, in spite of tiger being India’s national animal. Read More