Elephant smuggling racket thriving in Upper Assam forest

The tragic story of Assam elephant ‘Joymala’ in the Srivilliputhur Nachiyar Thirukovil temple in Tamil Nadu facing human atrocities
Elephant smuggling racket thriving in Upper Assam forest


DIBRUGARH: The tragic story of Assam elephant 'Joymala' in the Srivilliputhur Nachiyar Thirukovil temple in Tamil Nadu facing human atrocities, once again shed light on elephants being smuggled to other States from Assam. According to reports, Green Moran of Kasijan Gaon of Kakopathar in Upper Assam Tinsukia district was the original owner of the elephant 'Joymala'.

Sources said elephants are mostly smuggled from Assam-Arunachal Pradesh forest and they were transported to other States with the help of corrupt forest officials. A video of a woman went viral on social media, where the woman was seen crying and confessed that the elephant 'Joymala' belongs to them and how a man from Borhapjan, Doomdooma convinced them to sell their elephant to him. In 2008, 'Joymala' was taken to Tamil Naidu temple. In South Indian temples most of the temple's management keep elephants in their temple premises for some rituals and to attract tourists.

"More then 47 elephants were smuggled from Doomdooma Division in recent years. Elephants smuggling has been going on secretly with hand in gloves with the forest officials. The wildlife smugglers illegally trap the elephants from the forests of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam and secretly keep them and after some days the elephants are being sold to other States," said a source.

In 2016, Mumtaj Siddique, kingpin of elephant smuggling racket was arrested from Tinsukia. Sources said Mumtaj Siddique is still running the elephant smuggling racket through his son. His son has taken over the illegal business from his father and trap the wild elephants from the jungles of Assam-Arunachal Pradesh.

"In a very organized way they are running the illegal nexus. Sometimes they become the middle man and purchased the elephants from the people who domesticate wild elephants and sell the same elephants to the temples in a high price," a source further said..

Meanwhile, Assam government have decided to send a team to Tamil Nadu to inspect the condition of Joymala. Devojit Moran, an environmentalist said, "From the story of Joymala it was evident that elephant smuggling racket has been active in Assam forest and the wildlife smugglers are sending the elephants to other states by forging the documents. In last several years, elephants were smuggled from Doomdooma forest division. We have done an investigation in 2016 and found that elephants were smuggled from Assam forest in an organised way."

He said, "We urged the government to take immediate steps to bring Joymala to Assam and take step to stop elephant smuggling." "We are very pained to see the condition of Joymala in temple captivity. The elephant is facing human cruelty. No elephant should be treated like this. The government should take necessary steps to ban elephant transportation from Assam," he added.

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