Assam MP Gaurav Gogoi has requested Union Environment and Forest Minister Prakash Javadekar to immediately stop the process of transportation of four elephants from Assam to Gujarat.

Amidst the heat wave of North India, four elephants from Assam are set to start a perilous journey to Ahmedabad to add to the grandeur of the famous Jagannath Temple.

Also Read – Assam Forest accords “captive” status to 2 wild elephants

The four elephants from Assam are being taken to Ahmedabad ahead of the Rath Yatra scheduled to be held on July 4 in Jagannath Temple.

Also Read – Fear of deaths make Gujarat journey “edgy” for Assam elephants

Worried with Assam Forest Department’s decision to send four elephants, Gaurav Gogoi on Thursday has written a letter to Prakash Javadekar to immediately stop the transportation of the animals.

“Transportation of animals is always risk prone. Many wildlife activists have opposed the decision of the state government,” Gogoi said, adding that India is facing severe heat-wave at the moment.

Roughly half of the country is struggling through its worst drought in six decades, the Congress MP from Koliabor in Assam, said.

Also Read – NF Railway gears up to transport four elephants to Ahmedabad

“These are extreme conditions for the elephants to travel. In such case, the elephants may suffer from acute skin infection and dehydration,” Gogoi said in his letter to the union minister.

The Congress MP also said it is still unclear whether the elephants were captive, or caught from the wild. “….and do the government rules allow transportation of wild animals for religious events?” he said in the letter.

Also Read – Braving heat, bending rules, 4 Assam elephants being sent to Ahmedabad

While the Assam Forest Department officials are tight-lipped over the controversy of transportation of the four elephants, Gaurav Gogoi’s letter to Prakash Javadekar is likely to be a shot in the arm for the ongoing campaign against the transportation of the four elephants.

The Assam Forest Department is already caught on the wrong foot over the elephants transportation issue as it has been reported that two of the four elephants were not captive born, and were caught from the wild.

Anirban Roy

Anirban Roy is Editor-in-Chief of Northeast Now. He can be reached at: editor@nenow.in

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