IANS/ New Delhi
Delhi police have found an elephant two months after it went missing.
Laxmi disappeared from the Yamuna bank area in July and was traced on Tuesday night barely 3km away from the police headquarters.
It all began when the Delhi High Court ordered transferring Laxmi to a forest or a sanctuary. The Forest Department team went to fetch the animal from its caretaker’s family, but they were attacked by the family and forced to flee.
District Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Jasmeet Singh told IANS: “A police complaint was filed after the Forest Department team was attacked.” After the incident, the caretaker family fled with the elephant.
In the meantime, the Forest Department submitted an update on the missing elephant in the court, which ordered the police to find the animal.
The police claim that for the past two months they have been searching for the elephant. The search took them to the forest areas in East Delhi, where they found some footprints and dung. This could have been of only Laxmi as five other elephants living in Delhi were already deported.
The search finally ended on Tuesday night in the Yamuna Khadar area near the famous Akshardham Temple. Laxmi was recovered and its owner Yusuf and mahout Saddam arrested.
A Delhi police source told IANS that this information was immediately shared with the Forest Department, but their team arrived only yesterday.
“The two men have been arrested and further investigations were underway,” said Singh.
The issue of elephant deportation stems from the findings of a committee formed by the Chief Wildlife Warden in January 2016.
The report had recorded poor housing and health conditions and lack of suitable space and water facilities for six elephants in Delhi, which were in violation of the 2008 guidelines set by the Environment Ministry.
The case went to the Delhi High Court, which finally ordered the deportation of the elephants to a forest or a sanctuary. Five were deported earlier.
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