HC issues final verdict on ‘Sonu’

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 04 Sep 2017 10:35:20


Staff Reporter,


“Homo sapiens form just one of the multifarious species which are entitled to occupy earth. Homosapiens without humanism are dastards and are unworthy of being called human beings, the High Court of Chhattisgarh made these heart-wrenching remarks while also pointing out the apparent negligence on part of Forest Department in taking care of a wild-caught elephant Sonu in the final verdict given on a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking freedom for the Pachyderm in August.

The High Court of Chhattisgarh has left the fate of ‘Sonu’ to the wisdom of Forest Department of Chhattisgarh, the same institution which caught the bull elephant using a young cow elephant as honey trap and later inflicted inhumane cruelty by hobbling his fore and back limbs with iron shackles causing festering wounds. Unfortunately, the female elephant used as honey trap had died few days later owing to the injuries inflicted while luring Sonu. There are plethoras of reasons casting aspersion on the wisdom of the Department.

The High Court, however, has appreciated the petitioner Nitin Singhvi for his efforts taken in highlighting the grievances relatable to Sonu. It’s important to note that the Court has accepted the report of Dr. Rajeev TS, the then Assistant Professor & Project Leader, Centre for Elephant Studies, College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Mannuthy, Kerala, who has positively recommended sending Sonu

The Court has also directed Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife), Chhattisgarh to issue requisite directions, as may be found necessary, to avoid instances like the one in hand and to assure augmenting the protection of animals in terms of the laws, particularly those governing animal welfare, also by adopting a realistic approach to prevent and control human-animal conflicts and to ensure that every due and requisite action is taken at the appropriate level to effectuate the decision arrived at by the State Government authorities in Achanakmar Tiger Reserve.

Another expert Dr Rakesh Chhittora had also categorically recommended releasing the Elephant in pre-identified wild habitat after installing a radio collar, citing examples of such rehabilitation projects undertaken by Wildlife Trust of India.