Replying to a PIL filed by the Assam government, the government in Tamil Nadu told the Madras High Court that it will not return the leased elephants.
This came a day after the Assam government moved the Gauhati High Court after reports of the elephants sent from the state to Tamil Nadu being tortured, seeking directions to bring the elephants back, especially temple elephant Joymala.
A major controversy erupted following animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) releasing a video that claimed that Joymala was being subjected to cruelty at a Tamil Nadu temple.
However, the government in the southern state moved to deny all accusations in the matter. Additionally, the environment and forest ministry backed the claims of the Tamil Nadu government that the jumbo was doing well.
The ministry took to Twitter to write, “Several disturbing videos of Joyamala are being circulated on social media recently, but these videos are old. The latest inspection report issued on the matter shows that the elephant is doing well now and is in healthy condition. The present team taking good care of Joymala.”
Meanwhile, it has come to the fore that Principal chief conservator of forest in Assam, M K Yadava said that Tamil Nadu government had admitted to Joymala’s torture in a letter, however, her health is fine now.
Assam has claimed that it has leased as many as nine elephants including Joymala to Tamil Nadu.