English News

  • youtube
  • facebook
  • twitter

Assam wants return of elephants from Tamil Nadu, petitions High Court

Joymala the temple elephant whose return along with other animals leased to Tamil Nadu is being sought by Assam in a petition

The controversy over the elephants leased by Assam to Tamil Nadu has taken a new turn. The Assam Government has filed a petition in the Guwahati High Court as Tamil Nadu has refused to return the elephants.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change taking to Twitter has endorsed Tamil Nadu’s claim that Joymala, the temple elephant – whose video started the whole controversy about the treatment of the Assam elephants in Tamil Nadu – was being looked after well. The Ministry said the present team is taking good care of the animal and that the recent visuals of cruelty to the animal were old.

It was the release of a video by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals claiming that Joymala was being subjected to cruelty at a temple in Tamil Nadu that started the controversy.

The Tamil Nadu Government countering this claim said Joymala was “absolutely doing good” and tweeted a video of the elephant. They said: “Elephant Joymala in Srivilliputhur Andal Temple. Absolutely doing good. Taken good care by the present team. Bathing facility has also been created. Some fake videos are circulating in social media. This video is taken today (5.9.22).”

Meanwhile, Assam Government representatives visited Tamil Nadu to check for themselves but were reportedly denied access.

Sharing details of the petition filed by Assam, its Principal Chief Conservator of Forest said: “In the petition, we stated that the elephant [Joymala] is ours and we asked for its return [from Tamil Nadu]. There is no legal connection between a ‘gift’ and a ‘lease’. The elephants were given on lease and it is the duty of the person to return the animal. We had earlier appealed to them [Tamil Nadu] to return the elephants.”

According to Assam officials, the State had leased nine elephants, including Joymala, to Tamil Nadu.