A Supreme Court lawyer has written to the Chief Justice of India seeking his intervention in ending cruelty towards animals. His letter cited a recent incident in which an elephant was set afire by some people in Tamil Nadu who threw a burning tyre on it. The jumbo later succumbed to the burn injuries. The video of the incident had gone viral on social media.
"The video of the tragic incident as above which happened today and reported on TV channels would shock the conscience of any human being," Lawyer Mathews J Nedumpara wrote in his letter to Chief Justice SA Bobde.
The Mudumalai Forest Department in Tamil Nadu's Nilgiri district yesterday arrested two men held responsible for the death of the 50-year-old pachyderm, according to ANI. The disturbing incident brought back memories of a similar episode from Kerala last year where a pregnant elephant died of injuries sustained after eating explosive-laden fruits.
Mr Nedumpara had back then, too, petitioned the top court. Asking Chief Justice Bobde to treat his latest letter as a petition, he said the earlier one was disposed of with some directions to the Centre, which was inadequate. This time, he asked for his plea to be treated as a public interest litigation.
"I am sure your Lordship has even greater compassion for animals and would consider your Lordship's constitutional duty to do whatever is humanly possible to bring an end to the horrifying cruelty to animals and would be gracious enough to treat this letter at the hands of my humble self as a petition under Article 32 dispensing with all procedural formalities, notwithstanding my total insignificance," Mr Nedumpara wrote.
Tamil Nadu Forest Department officials said that the elephant was first found roaming around injured in November. It was captured in December, treated, and set free again in the forest, according to ANI. Sometime in January this year, it moved closer to an area with human habitation. The residents there tried to chase the animal away and during the reported incident threw a burning tyre at it.
The video shows the elephant walking away with the burning tyre on its head. It later died, succumbing to the burns, officials said.
Based on the video evidence, two persons identified only as Prasad and Raymond were arrested. A third man, Ricky, who was also involved in the incident is missing, ANI reported.