Animal rights outfit alleges elephant torture during Kerala temple festival

The campaigner also urged the Centre to take steps to ban these types of 'unlawful' elephant parades at the earliest.

By: PTI | Thiruvananthapuram | Published:November 19, 2016 1:58 pm
temple elephant, kerala temple elephant, elephant torture, temple elephant torture, kerala temple animal torture, animal rights Photo for representational purpose. (Source: PTI Photo)

Thrissur-based animal rights campaigner Heritage Animal Task Force, condemned the alleged torture of elephants, who were paraded inside the Vaikom Mahadeva Temple in Kottayam district of Kerala as part of a festival, and claimed the parades were ‘unlawful’.

In a letter to the Director, Project Elephant, Environment and Forest Ministry, it complained that more than three elephants were paraded inside the temple premises on November 16 and 17 during the annual Vaikkathashtamy festival and both parades were ‘unlawful’.

“Both these elephant parades were unlawful as the Elephant Parade Rule issued by State Forest Secretary on March 13, 2013 specifically states that nobody has the freedom to allow entry of more than three elephants at a time,” Task Force secretary V K Venkitachalam said.

But the officials of departments of Devaswom, the temple management body, police and forest remained mute spectators without initiating any penal action against those responsible “for this type of violations related to elephant parade,” he alleged in the letter.

“Anyone can see the torture inflicted by placing flaming torch very near to the body of the elephants as part of the rituals. As the temple complex is brightly illuminated by electric lights, use of flaming torches are meant only to scare the elephants,” he claimed.

The campaigner also urged the Centre to take steps to ban these types of ‘unlawful’ elephant parades at the earliest.

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  1. H
    Harley Robert
    Dec 7, 2016 at 10:48 pm
    The elephants are stolen from the wild, tortured into submission and the thefts are covered up by those responsible for preventing and punishing them who are paid to look the other way. The corruption is epic, the politicians will do nothing because those who profit from elephant torture support the politicians politically and even court orders are treated as mere suggestions and not enforced. The world is onto Kerala and the temples who abuse elephants under the guise of religion. Elephant owners and the mahouts should start to look over their shoulders because life is cheap there and people will do horrible things to other people for a few dollars. You have been warned.
    1. D
      Dominick Mezzapesa
      Nov 20, 2016 at 12:39 pm
      s torturing Elephants for religion. WTF? India's people are crazy, they celebrity worship the Elephants like America worships athletes and movie stars but the difference is India treats the elephants like slaves. They chain them to trees, leave them un-sheltered and barely feed;br/gt;lt;br/gt;One day there will be payment for the atrocities humans are inflicting on these magnificent creatures. lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;May Ganesha declare all of you evil and your karma is reborn as worms or some other insect to be squashed or eaten by the same innocent animals you abuse. lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;
      1. B
        Nov 19, 2016 at 8:46 am
        Have you heard the name of Bakrid and Navratra.......or you are purely a vegetarian I guess.....
        1. S
          Saraswatula Babu Rao
          Nov 19, 2016 at 8:51 am
          Where were these animal rights activist when camels and buffle and young cows being butchered during bakrid
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