Udayavni Special

Elephants must be in forests, not in temples; It’s cruel to use them for rituals, says K’taka HC

Team Udayavani, Aug 20, 2021, 10:59 AM IST

Bengaluru: Objecting to the keeping of an elephant for worshipping and other rituals at the Kalika Durgaparameshwari temple in Vidyaranyapur in the city, the Karnataka High Court said that elephants should be in the forest and not in the temple.

The Court added that using elephants for pujas is cruel.

The statements were made on Thursday by a divisional bench headed by Chief Justice AS Oka while hearing a petition.

The counsel for the petitioner argued that Kalika Durgaparameshwari temple was a private temple. An elephant was brought and nurtured to perform the rituals of the temple. Now that the temple has been taken over by the Muzarai Department, the elephant belongs to the government.

He demanded that the Muzarai Department be directed to keep the elephant in the temple and not shift it.

Expressing displeasure over the demand, the bench said that elephants should be in the forest, and not in temples.

The counsel for the petitioner maintained that the elephant is being used only to perform the pujas.

He also said that the puja practices were in place for centuries to which the bench replied that laws preventing cruelty to animals were not in force in the past, adding that it was unacceptable now even as a religious practice.

Government counsel said the said elephant has health problems and it needed to be sent to the rehabilitation centre of the Forest Department in Malur for necessary treatment.

Considering the statement, the bench gave the government two weeks to object to the petition and adjourned the hearing to September 13.

It also instructed the government to provide proper treatment to the elephant and submit the medical report.

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