Mumbai Congress President Sanjay Nirupam today attacked Maharashtra Forest Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar and demanded immediate sacking and CBI probe against the Forest Minister claiming that the tigers are unsafe under his rule.
Raising serious questions on the conduct of Sudhir Mungantiwar Sanjay Nirupam said, “Sudhir Mungantiwar resumed office as the Forest Minister in the year 2014. Since then, 14, 16 and 21 tigers have died in the years 2015, 2016 and 2017 respectively in Maharashtra. The number of tiger deaths in the year 2017 is second highest in the country after Madhya Pradesh. India’s biggest tiger Jay has been missing too. Does this bitter reality sound normal to Sudhir Mungantiwar? It is highly possible that Mungantiwar could be in nexus with the International poaching mafias. It is clear that our national animal isn’t safe under Mungantiwar’s rule.”
Sanjay Nirupam further said, “Despite the National Tiger Conservative Authority’s rule of having a surveillance system installed in every tiger reserve in the country, Sudhir Mungantiwar has conveniently refrained from doing the needful in Maharashtra time and again. The Govt of Maharashtra first floated a tender in August 2016 urging the tenderers to submit their respective tenders before September 2016. Despite the bidders had already bid in, this tender was later scraped. A year later, the state Govt floated another tender in March 2017 urging the tenderers to submit their respective tenders before May 2017. However, this tender was scraped too. All the other states with tiger reserves have installed surveillance systems except Maharashtra. When a surveillance system was installed as a small model in Chandrapur’s Chanda, Sudhir Mungantiwar admitted that the location of the tigers and the activities of the poachers could both be tracked using the surveillance system. Is this why he hasn’t installed it in Maharashtra so that the poaching mafias can continue to kill tigers for huge monetary benefits?”
Actress and Animal lover Rupali Ganguly who was also present said, “The panel formed by the Centre too comprises of people from the Govt who will be biased towards this entire issue. We want cyber experts, forensic experts, forest experts, veterinarian and shooting experts to be a part of this committee to ensure fair inquiry and action. Also there have been repeated inconsistencies in the information provided by the State Govt about the 2 Cubs of the deceased Tigress who are still missing. The simple rule of ‘Sun down, gun down’ which implies that no animal can be tranquilized past sunset too was violated in this case. If the Govt could pay Rs. 5 lakh and hire a sharp shooter to kill the tigress, why aren’t they making optimum utilisation of the State machinery to find the Cubs now? State Forest Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar must resign immediately”.
Animal lovers Priyanka Timmins, Anupama Mukherjee and Bharat Sharma who too were present questioned that why the Govt called Tigress Avni a man-eater in the first place. Sanjay Nirupam, along with other activists, urged the common people to participate in huge number in the Global March conducted on Sunday November 11. This March will commence from Worli Sea face at 4 pm and conclude at Dadar’s Shivaji Park.