Officials of the Forest Department on Tuesday took into custody the manager of Paliakkara Toll Plaza, Shayam Nair, on charges of torture of an elephant.

It was on the basis of a complaint filed by the Heritage Animal Task Force (HATF) that the officials took him into custody allegedly for keeping an elephant named Sreechithra Mahadevan in uncongenial circumstances at a place near Vattanathra Sree Krishna Temple in Thrissur district after inflicting serious wounds all over its body.

The HATF alleged that he had been charged earlier too for the same offence.

“Shayam Nair of Mulanthuruthy transfers elephants from one place to another after inflicting wounds all over their sensitive parts. This elephant has changed hands four times in the past four years. Its actual name is Kutty Sankaran. But the name has been changed many times,” secretary of HATF V.K. Venkitachalam said.

Now the elephant is in the custody of the Forest Department, as nobody has the statutory ownership certificate, he said.

The HATF said the penal action initiated by the Forest Department would create awareness among people about the healthy upkeep of elephants in captivity.

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