Tigress. [Representational Image]Reuters File

Doubts raised regarding the killing of tigress Avni, officially called T1 will be verified, said Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis while responding to Union minister Maneka Gandhi's sharp criticism on the matter.

Tigress Avni, being tagged as 'man-eater', shot dead in the Yavatmal region of the state on Friday night. Avni was allegedly responsible for the death of 13-14 people.

"She (Maneka) has used harsh words. But her sentiments should be understood. All animal lovers' sentiments are harsh regarding this incident. It was a difficult decision. Whether the procedure was correct or not will be checked," the Maharashtra CM was quoted as saying Indian Express.

"There is no happiness over the killing. The forest department took the decision since she had killed 13 to 14 people. There are some doubts regarding whether the tigress was first shot and then the dart inserted, this aspect will be probed," Fadnavis added.

Union minister Maneka Gandhi, an animal lover, reacted sharply on the killing of the tigress, a mother of two cubs. She termed her killing a 'straight case of crime' while questioning Maharashtra Environment and Forests minister.

"It is nothing but a straight case of crime. Despite requests from his own forest department and people, Sudhir Mugantiwar gave orders for the killing. This is the third tiger being killed on his directions," Gandhi said in a statement.

According to the preliminary report, Avni was shot in self-defence when she attacked the forest department team who went to tranquilise her.

Maharashtra Forest Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar also alleged that Maneka Gandhi is not fully aware about the issue.

"Instead of lodging a complaint with the chief minister, the Union minister (Maneka Gandhi), if she wants, can order a high-level inquiry by a sitting Supreme Court judge or a committee of sitting Supreme Court judges into the incident," Mungantiwar was quoted as saying in news report.

In view of the terror of Avni in the region, the Supreme Court also ordered to kill the tigress earlier this year. However, animal rights activists wanted her to be captured alive. A petition on change.org fetched signature of around 10,000 people urging tigress not to be killed.