Six elephants from Assam are all set to be transported to Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh.
Sources in the office of Assam’s Chief Wildlife Warden told Northeast Now on Thursday that formality for transportation of six elephants from Tinsukia to Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh are being completed.
Four juvenile elephants – Joytara, Babulal, Rupsing and Rani are being sent from Tinsukia in Upper Assam to the Lord Jagannath Temple in Ahmedabad.
And two elephants – one from Digboi and another from Lakhimpur, are being sent to Uttar Pradesh, the sources said.
The Assam Forest Department in June this year, had granted permission for transportation of the four juvenile elephants to the Lord Jagannath Temple in Ahmedabad to take part in the Rath Yatra.
Later on June 27, the Assam Forest Department decided to keep in abeyance the decision to transport four juvenile elephants to the Jagannath Temple in view of the prevailing heat wave condition in North West India.
The decision to keep in abeyance the orders to transport the elephants was in response to the report by the Veterinary Experts Committee.
The expert committee had said elephants have very weak thermo-regulatory system, and there was possibility of the animals suffering heat stroke while on transit.
The expert committee was constituted following an order by the Gauhati High Court for “smooth transportation” of elephants to Ahmedabad. The high court had issued the order while disposing a PIL by an NGO.
Since there is an improvement in the weather conditions in North India, the Assam Forest Department officials are now gearing up to clear the legal formalities for transportation of the four elephants.
The sources said Hukumdar Khan, alias Munna Khan, the “agent” who is sending the four elephants to the Jagannath Temple, was seen visiting the office of the Chief Wildlife Warden in Guwahati.
Ranjana Gupta, the Chief Wildlife Warden of Assam, is reportedly working closely with Mozidul Hussain, a divisional forest officer to prepare the required documents for the transportation of the four elephants to Gujarat.
Despite repeated attempts, Ranjana Gupta was not available for comments. She did not receive her mobile phone, and later, switched it off.
It is apparent that the officials of the Assam Forest Department are under some kind of a “pressure” from the corridors of power to transport the elephants to Gujarat.
Earlier, the Assam Forest Department had granted permission to transport the four elephants to Gujarat in an absolute hurry.