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Elephant Joymala's Cries After Being Whipped in Tamil Nadu Temple Reverberate in Entire Assam

By: Partha Jyoti Borah

News18.com

Last Updated: September 02, 2022, 12:27 IST

Assam, India

 People for Ethical Treatment on Animal has been whistleblowing the ordeal of the elephant as it is seen facing unbearable torture in the hand of Mahout. (Credits: Shutterstock)

People for Ethical Treatment on Animal has been whistleblowing the ordeal of the elephant as it is seen facing unbearable torture in the hand of Mahout. (Credits: Shutterstock)

One such recent viral video has sparked sentiments back home in Assam. Subsequent revelation of unprecedented torture inflicted upon the female elephant has also raised demands of bringing back the most revered mammal.

In a shocking incident of cruelty against animals, an elephant named Joymala was seen screaming after being mercilessly whipped by multiple mahouts incessantly reportedly inside the premises of a temple in Tamil Nadu. The female tusker was found to be owned by someone called Girin Moran from upper Assam’s Tinsukia, who in 2011, sold the elephant to the Tamil Nadu temple through a middleman after necessary approval from the forest department. Now, the elephant is counting her days in captivity at a temple in Tamil Nadu’s Virudhunagar. People for Ethical Treatment of Animal has been whistleblowing the ordeal of the elephant as it was seen facing unbearable torture at the hand of mahout.

One such recent viral video has sparked sentiments back home in Assam. Subsequent revelation of unprecedented torture inflicted upon the female elephant has also raised demands of bringing back the most revered mammal.

Animal rights activist Mubina Akhtar speaking to News18 on Thursday said, “Not only Joymala, in the last 25 years, as many as 1,100 elephants were translocated in various temples of Tamil Nadu; after the Supreme Court ban on the felling of trees in 1996, owners found their pet elephants of no use as engaging them in carrying planks had ended."

Touts saw an opportunity to buy the elephant maneuvering rules prescribed in the apparently strong Wildlife Protection Act 1972. They, allegedly, in a cahoot with forest officials, started taking the elephants on lease and shifted them to Tamil Nadu as elephants are in high demand in the southern state.

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Another animal rights activist Dilip Nath said that the elephants were leased out for 3 to 6 months under the pretext of religious tour to the southern state and they were never returned. Neither the forest department nor the elephant owner showed any concern to bring the elephants back once the lease agreement was over. According to Nath, elephants are sold to the temples at Rs 40 and 50 lakh. Temple authorities use elephants to collect money from visitors.

On the other hand, the Tamil Nadu government filed an affidavit in Madras High Court in a case related to temple elephants and submitted recently that as many as 63 elephants from Assam and Arunachal Pradesh are in the custody of temples and individuals in the state. Out of them, 32 are with temple authority. The licence of these elephants is still with owners back in Assam from whom elephants are purchased.

Meanwhile, the Government of Assam has ordered Marigaon Superintendent of Police Aparna Natarajan to travel to Tamil Nadu and find out the latest condition of the elephant in question. She will travel to the southern state on Friday.​

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first published:September 02, 2022, 12:27 IST
last updated:September 02, 2022, 12:27 IST