Ramnagar: The Janata Dal (S) seems to have invited a ‘jumbo’ of a problem in its enthusiasm to tom-tom its influence in the Magadi Assembly constituency.
Out to make a show of its political clout in the area, state JD(S) president, H D Kumarswamy went in a 2- km long procession led by an elephant all the way from the Tirumale Ranganath Swamy Temple in the scorching heat to the venue of his public meeting on Sunday. While he may have grabbed eyeballs by this "grand" display of the party's alleged hold on the district, the JD(S) appears to have flouted several guidelines for animal welfare in the process.
For one, although the forest department's guidelines lay down that elephants should be used only early morning or late evening in processions and even then just for a short duration, the JD(S) march started at 2pm in the afternoon and took nearly an hour to conclude.
Also, while it is mandatory for the Superintendent of Police (SP) to certify the safety of the procession with the escape routes clearly marked should the elephant happen to go beserk and the deployment of adequate policemen to handle any emergency, should it arise, it seems no such permission was taken by the party from the police.
And although the animal husbandry department is required to provide a veterinarian well versed in tranquilising elephants for the entire procession as a safety precaution, no such vet was deputed during the JD(S) road show, say sources in the office of the deputy director of animal husbandry in Ramnagar.
Officers of the Magadi Range Forest Office say the JD(S) did seek oral permission for taking out the procession with a jumbo but was denied it. "We will hold an inquiry into this and a notice will be served to the party," they said.
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