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Animal welfare board admits Janta Raja hullabaloo fallout of miscommunication

The controversy over the use of animals in famous Marathi play Janta Raja does seem to die down soon.

Written by Hitarthpandya | Vadodara | Published: February 19, 2010 1:52 am

The controversy over the use of animals in famous Marathi play Janta Raja does seem to die down soon. The Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) on Thursday threatened to send a formal communication to the Vadodara police commissioner if the show continues without permission.

The board,however,admitted to the fact that the hullabaloo could have been avoided if the local AWBI representative had informed them about the play in advance. AWBI Secretary D Rajasekar told The Indian Express: “There was a communication lapse on part of local AWBI representative Snehal Bhavsar. She should have informed us earlier so that we could verify all the required documents and avoid the last minute glitches.”

He further said that they had received some formal communication from the organisers about staging the play,“but we told them to provide proper information. They might have sent the information through courier and fax,but the board did not receive anything in this regard,Rajasekar said.

“Now,I am going to send a fax to the Vadodara police commissioner to stop the show as the use of animalsm including elephants,camels and horses,is illegal,” he said,adding that their “sole intention” is the welfare of animals.

On his part,organiser Sharad Dhamdhere asserted that he had tried to get in touch with Bhavsar in January itself. “But her husband,Raj Bhavsar,told me that I can ask him whatever I want to regarding the show. He told me to submit certain documents to the AWBI office in Chennai,which I did. Now,they are creating ruckus on the day of the show,” he said.

Accusing the board of trying to earn “cheap publicity”,Dhamdhere said,“If they were so concerned about the welfare of animals,why did not they guide me on time.”

Bhavsar,on the other hand,maintained that she had sent a mail to the AWBI on February 12 after noticing hoardings of the play. She added: “It is true that the organisers had called up my husband and he explained the formalities to them. But my husband informed me about this after I saw the banners.”

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