Elephant, Joymala from Assam beaten and tortured in Tamil Nadu is finally coming home.
By Apekshita Sonowal
After the painful video of an elephant named Joymala from Assam beaten and tortured in a temple in Tamil Nadu went viral, the Assam Government is finally bringing back Joymala to Assam.
According to reports, Chief Minister of Assam, Himanta Biswa Sarma chaired a meeting with the Forest Minister of Assam Chandra Mohan Patowary along with other top forest officials today. After which, it has been decided that a team of the Forest Department will be sent to Tamil Nadu on September 2 to bring back not just Joymala but eight other elephants who have been illegally kept there since 2008.
Earlier, Tamil Nadu Govt was not cooperating with Assam Govt in sending back the elephant despite the Assam government’s assurance to bear all expenses of Joymala’s shifting.
The Tamil Nadu Govt in May or June 2022 informed that the elephant was in the possession of the temple and not the Forest Department’s hence even if Assam Govt tried to bring back Joymala, it would have been a case of robbery.
The case came to light when People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), India posted videos and exposed how Joymala or Jeymalyatha was being brutally beaten and tortured by the new mahout in the Nagercoil district of Tamil Nadu.
According to PETA India, the elephant was being kept illegally by the Srivilliputhur Nachiyar Thirukovil Temple in Tamil Nadu and has been dealing with animal abuse for a long time now.
In the first video, the elephant was heard screaming in pain while being inhumanely beaten by two mahouts at a rejuvenation camp.
After which, the Tami Nadu Forest Department asked PETA India to further inspect and report on the case. But the mahout refused to allow PETA India’s investigation team to take any video or photographs. However, the PETA team somehow managed to get some footage of the mahout’s ill-treatment of the elephant.
In the second video, it can be seen that the mahout used pliers to painfully twist the elephant’s skin and chains to chain her to the floor in the sanctum sanctorum of the Krishnan Kovil temple of Tamil Nadu. Many ankuses were also said to be found in the shed where she’s chained for over 16 hours a day.
Following this, PETA India submitted a new veterinary inspection report to the forest department officials in Tamil Nadu and Assam about the continued brutality done to Joymala.
After repeated complaints filed by PETA India and intervention of the Animal Welfare Board of India, an FIR against the mahout under sections of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 was registered at Virudhunagar police station. Furthermore, a wildlife offence report has also been registered under the Wild Life (Protection) Act (WPA), 1972 and Tamil Nadu Captive Elephants (Management and Maintenance) Rules, 2011 by the Srivilliputhur Forest Range in July.
Joymala was reportedly never returned to the Assam Environment & Forests Department by the SNT Temple even after her six-month lease got expired.
According to PETA India, in the first video which surfaced in the year 2021, February, the two mahouts who were beating Joymala at a rejuvenation camp were suspended by Tamil Nadu’s Hindu Religious & Charitable Endowments Department. The Tamil Nadu Forest Department booked them under Rule 13 of the Tamil Nadu Captive Elephants (Management and Maintenance) Rules, 2011, and Section 51 of the WPA, 1972.
But despite these actions taken, unfortunately, nothing seemed to change and the abuse by another mahout against Joymala continued which was very much evident in the second video. Currently, she continues to be abused by the latest mahout as exposed by PETA India’s inspection report.
Reportedly, Joymala and eight others were leased out in Tamil Nadu in 2008 for six months in the name of temple visits but were kept illegally ever since. Currently, Joymala is at the nearby Krishnan Kovil temple where the recent viral video was posted by PETA India. According to reports the actual owner of Joymala is Girin Moran from Assam’s Jorhat district.
The video sparked anger amongst the netizens and animal activists in Assam appealing to the government of Assam for the elephant’s rescue and bringing her back to Assam.
Source - PETA India
Source - PETA India