Assam Forest Department recently granted permission to transport four juvenile elephants from Tinsukia in Upper Assam to the Jagannath Temple in Ahmedabad.
Animal rights activists strongly protested against the decision, and had even moved the Gauhati High Court to put a stop to transport the elephants amidst the heat wave in North India.
Surprisingly, neither the Assam Forest Minister Parimal Suklabaidya, nor any senior officials of the Forest Department spoke to the media on the decision to transport the elephants during the peak summer season.
There are several unanswered questions on the issue:
What was the urgency to transport the four juvenile elephants, including two females, amidst the heat wave of North India?
Who is responsible for the well being of the elephants during transit – owners, Jagannath temple, Assam Forest Department, Gujarat Forest Department, transporter, or the accompanying veterinarians?
How did the male juvenile elephant Rupsing get the bullet injury on its left foreleg?
Are the two elephants Rupsing and Rani caught from the wild? Was Rupsing caught from the jungle by firing at the leg?
How a fitness certificate was issued to the juvenile male elephant Rupsing, which is severely lame with the gunshot wound on its left foreleg?
Bullet wound of Rupsing is yet to heal, what was the urgency to issue the order to transport the elephant on the day the microchip was implanted on it?
Did the Assam Forest Department try to match the blood samples of the three juvenile elephants Rupsing, Rani and Babulal and their mothers at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology in Hyderabad?
Did the names of Rupsing, Rani and Babulal feature in the list of 905 captive elephants of Assam submitted to the Ministry of Environment and Forest on December 30, 2018?
Who is Hukumdar Khan? What is his interest in transportation of four juvenile elephants from Assam to the Jagannath Temple in Ahmedabad?
Why did Hukumdar Khan visit the office of the Chief Wildlife Warden of Assam on June 26 along with the delegation of the Jagannath Temple in Ahmedabad?
What will happen if the four elephants don’t return to Assam after six months? Who will be blamed for it?
Who will pay for the travel, food and accommodation of the accompanying veterinarians?