Published On : Wed, Jun 26th, 2019

Delhi activist rubbishes Forest Min’s claim over tigers’ deaths in Vidarbha

Nagpur: Rubbishing the claims of state forest minister Sudhir Mungantiwar stating the majority of tiger deaths registered in Nagpur, Chandrapur, Wardha and Gadchiroli are attributed to ‘natural causes’, Delhi based activist Sangeeta Dogra said, “The minister (Sudhir Mungantiwar) needs to understand that ‘natural death’ means death due to old age. This is on records that tigers which died were of age 4 or 5 years old and these deaths cannot be attributed as natural deaths.

Mungantiwar on June 25, released the officials data regarding deaths of tiger in the region, where he stressed that the state had lost 30 tigers in past 22 months. 20 out of which were reportedly succumbed to natural causes, besides five who were electrocuted, one died in a road accident and the causes of deaths of four others were unknown.

Refuting the claims of the state forest minister, Dogra who represents Society for Protection of Culture, Heritage, Environment, Traditions and Promotion of National Awareness’, also known as CHETNA told Nagpur Today, “Maximum tiger/tigress died due to electrocution is a big question for forest ministers’ abilities. How did these electric wires reached forest area, which is also again an offense of illegal hooking.”

She has alleged, “Not at any stage he (Mungantiwar) ever instructed his officials to get this checked for these deaths doesn’t look like he is even interested in his portfolio of forest & environment, but only interested in his other portfolio of finance & planning and generating revenue through forest the way he is selling forest to cronies capitalist.”

On electrocution of tigers, she further asserted, “Ministry of Power doesn’t seems to be concerned with illegal hooking which is violation of The Indian Electricity Act 1910, unit 14, neither the state minister of forest ever instructed team to book any person under this offense or removal of these wires, these wires also have led to death of many human lives as well. This is very unbecoming that forest offenses are increasing with highest rates.”

“This is evident by looking at Preliminary Offense report count 1183 Dates 03 November 2018 for Yavatmal dist, not talking here about other districts this is proved time and again that under his governance he has proved himself as a failed & most arrogant minster & least bothered about human/animals lives. The said data is submitted only for Tigers, we need to look at the death of other animals as well not just tiger mortality, as well as forest offenses,” said Dogra.

“This is very shocking & surprising that the forest minister is issuing such statements in the legislature which makes no sense at all. He is also holding the charge of finance & planning along with forest minister, not sure how badly he is destroying finance & planning department the way he has destroyed forest under his powers,” she added.

By Shubham Nagdeve