Animal Cruelty: Tripura HC’s Intervention Saves Elephant, Calf


The intervention of the High Court of Tripura has facilitated the rescue of a female elephant and its calf, allegedly subjected to cruelty by their owners.

Shield from Mistreatment

The Court has directed the forest department to transfer custody of the victim animals to the Radha Krishna Temple Elephant Welfare Trust (RKTEWT) to shield them from the mistreatment they were enduring.

“Following the High Court of Tripura’s directive, the elephant and her calf were rescued and handed over to the authorities of the temple welfare trust. Additionally, the High Court division bench instructed the petitioner to lodge separate complaints with the High Power committee, formed to oversee the welfare of captive elephants nationwide, if any grievances persist,” stated petitioner and advocate Paramita Sen, who also serves as an animal welfare activist and holds the position of secretary of the Society for Welfare of Animal and Nature (SWAN), an NGO. Sen represented the case in Court.


During the proceedings, the Court learned that the sixty-year-old female elephant was plagued by multiple health issues. Besides, she was compelled to toil for the commercial interests of the owners and was consistently deprived of adequate fodder and rest space. Similarly, her calf was also beset by similar problems.

“Her body bore sores, and she suffered from foot stiffness. One of her front legs was fractured due to the menial tasks she was forced to undertake, which is entirely unlawful,” Sen affirmed. She further asserted that the captive elephant’s owner, Aktar Uddin Sheikh, lacked legal authority to retain the elephants as the license issued by the forest department had expired long ago. Previously, advocate Sen had corresponded with the state animal welfare board, Animal Resource Development Department, and Forest Department, urging measures to safeguard the elephants.

“At the age of 60, the elephant was discovered to be pregnant. Upon receiving information about the brutal treatment of the captive elephant and its calf, a specialized team of doctors from the temple trust visited the site. They advised that the elephants could only receive proper treatment if they were relocated to the temple trust’s main facility, where world-class treatment is available. Fortunately, the intervention of the High Court resolved the issues,” Sen concluded.

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About the Author: Nunnem Gangte