CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu government has clearly stated that it will not return the elephants that it received from Assam.
On Thursday, the Tamil Nadu government informed the Madras high court that it has no intention of returning the elephants to Assam.
This statement from the Tamil Nadu government came just a day after the BJP-led central government backed the claims of the Tamil Nadu government that Joymala – the elephant from Assam – “is being taken care of”.
This endorsement of Tamil Nadu government’s stand on the Joymala issue by the central government came despite the Assam government knocking the doors of the Gauhati high court over the custody of the elephant.
Joymala was ‘tortured’ in a Tamil Nadu temple.
This step has been taken by the Assam government after an experts’ team from the state was not allowed to take stock of the condition that the elephant is living in.
Joymala, an elephant from Assam, which is now in the captivity at Srivilliputhur Andal Temple in Tamil Nadu, is at the centre of a major hullabaloo.
Joymala drew attention of the media after animal rights organization PETA (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals) posted a video that it claimed had been taken during a veterinary inspection of the elephant.
The PETA video claimed the elephant is being kept illegally at the temple. “Here, she is being beaten in the sacred sanctum sanctorum of Krishnan Kovil…In 2021, she was tied to a tree and beaten ruthlessly,” it said, with visuals of an elephant being beaten.
However, the Tamil Nadu government has claimed that the PETA video is FAKE.
The elephant Joymala is “absolutely doing good,” the Tamil Nadu government said.
Moreover, according to sources, the team of experts sent by the Assam government to Tamil Nadu to take stock of the condition of Joymala and other elephants has returned back to the state.
The team of experts, including internationally acclaimed elephant doctor Padmashree (Dr) Kushal Konwar Sarma, from Assam were dispatched to Chennai to inspect the wellbeing of Joymala and the other elephants in the temples of Tamil Nadu and bring them back home.
Interestingly, the Assam team was not allowed to inspect Joymala and the other elephants.
Notably, the Assam government has also stated that it is aware of Joymala- the elephant – being subjected to torture in Tamil Nadu.