In a shocking incident, an elephant was mercilessly beaten by the mahout and his assistant with sticks at Thekkampatti near Mettupalayam in Tamil Nadu, the video of which has gone viral on social media enraging netizens and wildlife activists across the country.
The incident took place at the annual rejuvenation camp for temple and mutt elephants. Organised by the HR&CE Department, the 48-day-long camp will conclude on March 27.
The mahout and his assistant, identified as 45-year-old Vinil Kumar and Sivaprasad, have been booked by the Forest Department under various sections of the Wildlife Protection Act.
The disturbing video, which was shot on a mobile phone, shows the 19-year-old female elephant named Joymala being tied to a tree with chains and brutally beaten with sticks on her legs by the duo as she was struggled in pain.
According to ANI, the elephant was from Andal Temple in Srivilliputhur. The Commissioner of the HR&CE Department, S Prabhakar suspended the mahout and his assistant, while further probe by the forest department revealed that Sivaprasad was not appointed by the temple, but was Kumar’s relative.
Kumar reportedly claimed that the elephant was allegedly not obeying the commands hence they beat her up.
Indian Forest Service (IFS) officer Praveen Kaswan, while sharing the video on Twitter, termed it as a “sad incident”.
“Mahout, kavadi booked for thrashing an elephant at rejuvenation camp. It was such a sad incident.”