Puducherry: Puducherry, which has already became a theatre of tussle between the Lt Governor Kiran Bedi and the elected government, is triggering another spell of tension as the former has directed the government to release the temple elephant of Sri ManakulaVinayagar Koil to a sanctuary.
Ms Bedi issued the order based on a complaint letter filed by People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta). Peta in the complaint letter said the elephant, which arrived in Pondicherry in 1997, had stood stoically for 20 years outside the temple.
The Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) had sent a report to the Conservator of Forests and Chief Wildlife Warden, Puducherry, recommending that Lakshmi, the elephant, be rehabilitated to a forested sanctuary owing to concerns about her health.
Following the complaint, Ms Bedi asked the chief secretary to release Lakshmi into a sanctuary. Legislators said the move offends religious sentiment, as the elephant is an integral part of the temple rituals.
On the other had Ms Bedi, making her stand clear on the issue, wrote on her twitter account. "AWBI reported in Oct that Laxmi needs urgent medcare+rehab. I endorsed it to Govt of Pondy. Not heard back since. I too hav recvd her blessings".
She had also posted her photos receiving blessings from the temple elephant. Chief Minister V Narayanasamy said the issue will be discussed and an appropriate decision taken....