Animal welfare body PETA (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals) has gone up in arms against production house Swastik Pictures, helmed by Siddharth Kumar Tewary.
Here’s the crux.
Swastik currently produces a show called Bandhan on Zee TV which has an elephant called Suman in the thick of things.
Now, PETA has taken up the cause of the three-year-old juvenile elephant and appealed to The Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) not to use the elephant for the show. They complain of ill treatment.
The body announced the same in its official website Petaindia.com.
It said and we quote: “A team of veterinary inspectors consisting of the project leader for the Centre for Studies on Elephants at the College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences in Kerala and a co-opted member and honorary animal-welfare officer of the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) have documented cruel and apparently illegal abuse endured by a 3-year-old elephant calf named Suman, who currently appears on the Zee TV series Bandhan in Gujarat, where she is kept by her mahout (handler). The experts have recommended that she be transferred immediately to a reputable sanctuary for rehabilitation. They point to apparent violations of various provisions of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, and The Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, including an illegitimate gift deed, and recommend that the Maharashtra Forest Department cancel the ownership certificate and confiscate Suman.”
However, sources from the production house state, “Swastik is shooting with all legal permissions. We have also filed a case against AWBI. The production house is fighting the legal battle since few months now. Animals are taken good care of.”
We buzzed Producer Siddharth Tewary for a comment but he did not reply till the time of filing the article.
We are awaiting a comment from the channel spokesperson as well. The moment we get any further update, we shall share it here.