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Priyanka Gandhi in trouble over snake video, animal rights activist seeks her immediate arrest for violating wildlife protection rules

Gauri Maulekhi, an animal rights activist has complained that Priyanka has violated rules under the Wildlife Protection Act when she handled snakes of protected species during her election campaign in Raebareli.

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OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

Trouble mounts for the Uttar Pradesh Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi as a complaint has been filed by an Animal Rights activist Gauri Maulekhi against her, accusing her of “serious violation” of Wildlife Protection Act 1972 and seeking her “immediate arrest”.

In a written complaint to Chief Wildlife Warden, Gauri Maulekhi, a close aide of the Union Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi, had alleged that Priyanka Gandhi during her visit to Purwa village in Rae Bareilly had illegally procured 3 snakes of protected species through three unidentified persons and thereafter publicly endorsed the act of hunting and possession of snakes which is punishable under S.49 and S.52 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

Maulekhi mentioned that one of the snakes which Priyanka was Spectacled Cobra which is a highly venomous snake and can be rendered “harmless” only if its fangs have been mutilated, its venom glands burnt or its mouth stitched up. She alleged that Priyanka Gandhi by her conduct had approved of and encouraged the illegal capture, mutilation, removal of fangs, burning the venom glands and confinement.

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Maulekhi cites the Video and the news report which shows the alleged offence committed by Priyanka Gandhi while she was campaigning for the elections in Rae Bareilly. Her letter says that the first snake petted by her as seen in the video was a Spectacled Cobra which is protected under Section 2 of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972.

The letter mentions that the second snake handled by her was a Sand Boa which is protected under Section 4 of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972 and the last one Ms Vadra uses for the delectation of crowd and election campaigning was again a Cobra. Priyanka Gandhi also specifically emphasises that the snakes are not dangerous, which the letter has highlighted alleging that Priyanka was aware of the mutilation and other barbaric tactics employed by snake charmers to render the snakes harmless.

The complaint not only accuses Priyanka Gandhi of illegal procurement of snakes and the facilitation of their public demonstration but also of intentionally aiding the hunting and encouraging the public to touch the snakes.

The complainant has stated that the offences are serious and non-bailable hence they should result in an immidate arrest. She has also exhorted the Chief Wildlife Warden to rescue the captured reptiles and be treated by a trained veterinarian and rehabilitated.

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