Chief Minister of Puducherry, V. Narayanasami, has directed the forest department to return Lakshmi the Elephant back to her home at the Manakula Vinayagar Temple in the Union Terrritory. The development was confirmed by the IT cell of the Congress party on social media on Monday.
Thanks to honourable Pondicherry CM Mr. @VNarayanasami for directing forest department to return Laxmi Elephant back to Temple!— Ashok Kumar (@dharunkumaran) July 13, 2020
We are grateful for the sincere efforts of Mr. @SanjaySDutt & Mr. @americai @ananthramanrkr @LakshmiINC @Ve_Vaithilingam
விழித்தெழுந்த த.இ,மா.பேரவை pic.twitter.com/hyJruB7CJX
Mr Subrat Goswami from Gurugram, who was involved in the efforts to bring Lakshmi home, has confirmed to us that the order for her return has been passed and following the completion of certain formalities, she will return to the Manakula Vinayagar Temple. Sources told that she is expected to be back by Wednesday.
Lakshmi the Elephant was taken away from her home after PETA and the Animal Welfare Board intervened in the matter and accused the Temple of violating the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. BJP leader Maneka Gandhi, too, was involved in the whole affair and she requested Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry Kiran Bedi and Directorate of Forests and Wildlife to remove the elephant from the temple and shift her to a ‘safer’ location.
In the end, Lakshmi the Elephant was forcibly removed from the Temple and shifted to the Krishi Vigyan Kendra at Kurumamber, where her health was reported to have deteriorated. Parliamentary Secretary to the Chief Minister, K Lakshminarayanan, had alleged that no special medical care was being given to the elephant and that she was not comfortable there due to the presence of snakes and insects.
Lakshmi was adopted by the Temple after she was abandoned by her herd and has been living there since 1997. When the Directorate of Forests and Wildlife demanded that the Temple provide all details of her well-being, the documents were provided except for her pending blood report. However, due to mounting pressure from PETA, the department ordered that Lakshmi be removed from her home.
Now, the the department has been ordered to return Lakshmi the Elephant to her home by the Chief Minister himself and she is expected to reach home by Wednesday.