Assam elephnat

Guwahati: The Gauhati High Court on Friday directed the Tamil Nadu government to allow a delegation from Assam to inspect the condition of the elephant, Joymala.

The court also asked Tamil Nadu government to provide security to the team while inspecting the elephants taken from Guwahati to temples in the southern state.

Justice Suman Shyam, while hearing a petition filed by the Assam government, passed an interim order that permission should be granted to the delegation to inspect the elephants within three days after the court order is made available to them.

The judge also directed the Tamil Nadu chief secretary and director general of police to provide necessary security to the Assam delegation while they go for the inspection.

The HC order comes a day after the Tamil Nadu government told the Madras High Court that it will not return the leased elephants to Assam.

The People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) recently released a video alleging that Joymala was being tortured and kept captive at the Andal temple in Srivalliputhur in Chennai.

As the video went viral, the Assam government sent a team of four members, comprising elephant experts, forest and police officers to inspect the condition of the elephant and pave the way for her return to the state.

The Tamil Nadu government, however, did not extend the necessary cooperation and refused permission to the delegation to meet the elephant, advocate general Debojit Saika said.

“As we did not get any positive response from the Tamil Nadu government till now, it was decided to file a writ petition and its hearing was held today,” Saikia said.

The judge issued notices to the Union ministry of environment and forests and the Tamil Nadu forest secretary and director general of police.

The high court has fixed September 28 as the next date of hearing.

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