The demand for Joymala's return has been growing, pushing the Assam administration to consider means...
Digital Desk: The Gauhati High Court has granted People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India permission to interact in the case involving the return of the female captive elephant, Joymala, from Tamil Nadu to Assam, in which the Assam forest department is seeking court directives.
PETA had previously exposed the misery of an elephant moved from Assam to a temple in Tamil Nadu in two videos. The videos depicting Joymala's mistreatment have gone viral, touching the hearts of people all around the world.
The outcry for Joymala's return has been growing, pushing the Assam administration to consider means to get her back, including intervention by the Gauhati High Court. Joymala was leased by Assam to a temple in the southern state and has remained in the temple's control long after the lease time expired.
The state administration had approached the HC in September, seeking guidance on how to bring back the ill-treated elephant. PETA then attempted to interfere by becoming a partaker in the case.
On November 17, Justice Michael Zothankhuma, hearing a proceeding case (civil) submitted by PETA India, stated that because there is no objection from the other side, 'the applicant is impleaded as respondent.' PETA is now a party in the case, which the court will hear in December.
Previously, on November 15, PETA India said that video evidence acquired at the end of October and the first half of November showed Joymala being shackled and forced to dwell on a hard-concrete floor, in violation of standard protocols, and kept in complete isolation from others of her type. The elephant was also shown being controlled with weapons such as iron rods and torture equipment such as forceps.
PETA-India campaigns manager Radhika Suryavanshi stated that their findings refute the Tamil Nadu Hindu religious and charitable endowments department's claim that Joymala was "definitely doing good."
As reported, PETA claimed that a public relations video released by the department in September, showing Joymala unchained and presumably joyful, was not representative of the genuine situation. This was followed by an exposé by PETA-India showing extensive wound marks on the elephant's legs, which the organisation claimed indicated long-term chaining and beatings.
PETA-India further stated that despite Srivilliputhur Forest Range filing wildlife offence charges against the mahouts under the Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1972, no action has been done against the Joymala abusers. Suryavanshi added, "The mahouts also violated the requirements of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act of 1960."
PETA is now awaiting the outcome of the Gauhati High Court case, which will be decided in December.