Hyderabad: The son of sharp shooter Nawab Shafat Ali Khan has been criticised for shooting down tigress Avni, who is believed to have attacked 13 people in 19 months. Union minister Maneka Gandhi slammed Khan, Tweeting with hashtag #Justice4TigressAvni. She said, "Shafat Ali Khan has killed 3 tigers, at least 10 leopards, a few elephants and 300 wild boar in Chandrapur, #Maharashtra. He is a criminal known for supplying guns to anti-nationals and for a suspected case of murder in #Hyderabad."

The shooter said that he was going by the orders of the forest department, which was confirmed by the high court and the Supreme Court. He further added that there is no pending FIR against him, he was acquitted in the one that was registered in 1991 under arms act where his pistol was seized. 

"Inspite of all authorisations, if anyone is going to say anything slanderous against me and my family, I will not hesitate to take them to court, how high and mighty they are. I am not scared of man-eating tigers, do you think I will be scared of my critics?" he said to the New Indian Express.

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Responding to the threats from Nawab towards Maneka Gandhi and his critics, Dr HS Prayag, senior wildlife veterinarian and forensic experts, who has been critical towards unscientific methods of Nawab, has accepted the challenge and welcomed Nawab’s decision to immediately sue him in the court. Dr Prayag along with his fellow veterinarians and scientific community has stated that he will counter sue him under Intellectual Property rights as Nawab has committed plagiarism by publishing their work as his own. Dr Prayag also asserted that time and again, Nawab has been intimidating and defaming veterinarians and forest department as incompetent. Dr Prayag said he would file a defamation case through the veterinarian association if Nawab dared to sue his critics. And Dr Prayag also reiterated that if Nawab sues Maneka Gandhi and critics, he will volunteer to pay all expenses if Nawab wins the case. As in the past, Dr Prayag stated that he will continue to condemn Nawab’s unscientific and “idiotic” ways.

Letters undersigned by chief conservator of forest(CCF) Yavatmal were produced by the shooter authorising a five member team, Asghar Ali Khan included. Five sharp shooters of the police department were also deployed for the task.

When the tigress was spotted at 6.30 PM on Friday, Khan said that principal chief conservator of forests (Wildlife) AK Mishra assembled the team of two guards, forester Muqbir Shaikh, bet expert Dr Kadu and Asghar was accompanying the team as backup, according to the New Indian Express. 

Khan said that Muqbir shaikh fired the dart with the dosage prepared by Dr Kadu. With 10 minutes for the drug to react, the tigress reportedly came charging. And in self-defence, Asghar had to fire, said Khan, adding that there no inventing to kill.

100 camera traps were set and 200 frontline staffers are deployed for tracking the cubs, who are said to be semi-adults weighing around 60 kgs. With the help of young pigs and goats, the cub would be spotted and rescued, Khan said.

Also read: Maneka Gandhi takes up Tigress Avni case, heat rises on killer Nawab Shafath Ali Khan