GUWAHATI: The Gauhati High Court on Friday asked Tamil Nadu government to allow the delegation from Assam to inspect within three days elephant Joymala, who was allegedly tortured in a temple there.
Assam sent a four-member team to inspect the situation and bring back the elephant after a video of Joymala in a deplorable situation surfaced over the internet.
The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) urged the state governments to look into the elephant's well-being.
But the team which is lodging in Chennai since September 3, accused the Tamil Nadu government officials for not allowing them to see the elephant.
Following that, the Assam government approached the Gauhati High Court on Wednesday.
The state's advocate general, Devojit Saikia informed that the High Court has also issued notice to Tamil Nadu government to reply to the matter within 15 days. Notices were also issued to Tamil Nadu police, Forest Department, and Union Environment Ministry.
Meanwhile, the Tamil Nadu government, responding to a PIL filed in Madras High Court said that they will not return the elephant Joymala to Assam.
TN government officers said that there were very few negligible incidents of mistreatment of elephants in the temple reported earlier. But there was no necessity to return Joymala.
They further said: "These elephants have now become accustomed to the temple and returning them will hurt the religious sentiments of the devotees."
The PIL was filed by N. Sivaganesan, a field scientist on wildlife conservation.
Earlier, an officer of the four-member delegation claimed that the Tamil Nadu government did not even agree to hold a discussion with the officials from Assam for the custody of Joymala.