Two Palace elephants participating in a procession organised by the Jain community from Kote Anjaneyaswamy temple to Siddharthanagar in the city has stirred up another controversy.
The participation of elephants in a procession is against a government order dated March 27, 2000. According to the order by the State government, captive elephants are not allowed to be taken in procession, religious ceremonies or any such programmes.
However in 2002, the State had relaxed the above ban for Dasara and other government functions only.
Suparna Ganguly of CUPA, Bangalore, said that taking a procession of captive elephants is illegal. “No private parties are allowed to rent elephants and take out processions. It is prohibited under section 42 and 43 of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972,” she said.
According to sources, the elephants were rented from the Wadiyar family, which owns the elephants, by the Jain community for a cost of Rs 60,000.
However, forest department officials said that elephants owned privately could be rented for work in lumber camps or processions.
But, making elephants beg or perform circus moves is illegal, the source said.