NGOs criticise use of elephants in ‘Jodha Akbar’


Jaipur : Animal rights groups here are up in arms over the transportation of 10 captive elephants to Maharashtra for the making of the epic film “Jodha Akbar” later this month.

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The film is produced and directed by Ashutosh Gowarikar and slated for release in January.

Officials of the forest department have already conducted the mandatory medical examination of these elephants in preparation for travel. The elephants are expected to be at the location between Nov 10 and 25.

The NGO People for Animals (PFA) has written to the director general of police, requesting him to verify if rules are being flouted by sending the animals to Maharashtra.

The police should ensure that all guidelines laid down under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 is followed, Naresh Kadyan, chairman PFA Haryana, said in his letter.

He said before allowing the transport of the animals, it must be ensured that these animals are registered with the Animal Wildlife Board of India (AWBI) and the person transporting them must have a valid permit from the AWBI.

Earlier, Anuradha Sawhney of another NGO, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), had written to Gowarikar requesting him to reconsider his decision to use elephants during the film shoot.

“I request you to reconsider your decision to use these elephants. If you choose to use these elephants, please ensure that all provisions stipulated under various legislation are fulfilled,” she said in the letter.

Last year, while filming “Jodha Akbar” in Jaipur, the producers had faced similar oppositions from the animal rights groups. The NGOs had alleged that the elephants, camels and horses used in the film were treated badly.

The film revolves around the