Maharashtra MLA's viral video flaunting tiger tooth: ‘I hunted it in 1987’ | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Maharashtra MLA's viral video flaunting tiger tooth: ‘I hunted it in 1987’

Feb 22, 2024 08:48 PM IST

Video of Sanjay Gaikwad discussing tiger tooth, seemingly recorded on Monday, Shiv Jayanti, birth anniversary of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.

Sanjay Gaikwad, an MLA from the Shiv Sena led by Eknath Shinde, appeared in a viral video proudly displaying a tiger's tooth, which he claimed to have hunted 37 years ago, in 1987.

Shinde-led Shiv Sena faction MLA from Buldhana Sanjay Gaikwad (ANI)
Shinde-led Shiv Sena faction MLA from Buldhana Sanjay Gaikwad (ANI)

In the widely circulated video on social media, Gaikwad is seen wearing the tiger tooth as part of his accessories around his neck. When asked about the tiger body part, he responded, “This is a tiger tooth. In 1987, I had hunted it and removed it (the tooth).”

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The conversation appears to have been captured on Monday, coinciding with Shiv Jayanti, the birth anniversary of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. The video was also shared online by Saamana, the publication associated with Uddhav Thackeray's faction, on social media.

Tiger hunting had already been outlawed in India well before 1987, as it was officially banned after the enforcement of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. Despite attempts to reach Gaikwad for comment, there has been no response, as reported by the news agency PTI.

Wildlife (Protection) Act in 1972

Tigers are categorised as Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The official ban on tiger hunting came into effect only after the Wildlife (Protection) Act was enacted in 1972.

The Indian Tiger is classified under Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. This legislation provides protection against hunting, poaching, and trade of tiger skins, bones, and body parts. Perpetrators of such offenses face imprisonment ranging from three to seven years and fines ranging from fifty thousand rupees to two lakh rupees for a first conviction. Subsequent convictions can lead to imprisonment for a minimum of seven years and fines ranging from five lakh rupees to fifty lakh rupees.

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