Kerala: Row over tug-of-war with jumbo and public


Deccan Chronicle

Date Published

A WhatsApp group members here have expressed strong resentment over
the denial of permission to hold a tug-of-war between a captive
elephant and the public. The event was part of Onam-Bakrid
celebrations at Cheruvadi in Kodiyathur panchayat on the Thiruvonam
day. Organisers said similar events were a regular feature of Onam
celebrations in the region. “The intervention of the department of
forest and wildlife inspired by Thrissur-based Heritage Animal Task
Force (HATF) is unethical,” said Siju K, a resident.

“Every year we organise such events and so far there was no
opposition. We had announced the programme in a grand way after
informing the police and the district administration. There was no
opposition then. But exactly on the day of the event, it was stopped.”
V.K. Venkitachalam, secretary of the animal rights NGO, said the
WhatsApp group Nalla Cheruvadikkar and the Saudi Arabia-based Al
Rudaiman Group, were trying to torture an elephant for their
entertainment. “It’s completely against the animal’s rights,” he said.

“We understand they had given elephant Kolakkadan a severe training
for the past few weeks for the event. All these practices are against
Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 and Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
Act, 1960. We had filed a complaint with various departments seeking
their intervention, including the chief minister, police chief, chief
wildlife warden and secretary of Animal Welfare Board of India.”