news Monday, January 05, 2015 - 05:30
The News Minute | July 22, 2014 | 4:01 PM IST  Shivasankaran, an elephant owned by a Shiva temple in Parassala, Kerala has been chained for more than two years now. The elephant was brought to the temple, managed by the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB), around seven years ago. But being an elephant owned by the Devaswom Board has been of no help for Sivasankaran who has been chained for two years owing to bad behavior according to his mahouts. Locals says the elephant is regularly beaten up by his mahouts and they ignore his basic needs. The elephant first ran amok six months after it came to the temple. Off late, for the past few years the animal has been showing violent tendencies and hence, the authorities resorted to tying him up all the time for two long years. On Monday, when Shivashankaran was released from his chains he started getting violent again. After more than 7 hours, Shivasankaran was tamed, but was diligently put back in his chains yet again. The locals say that the neglect shown by the authorities led to the present state that the elephant is in. The kind of treatment bestowed on him by his own caretakers has terrified him enough according to them. “He has had many mahouts. Mahouts beating him up are a regular affair; almost no one ever gives him the needed medication, even worse no one is ever seen attending to him”, a local resident is said to Asianet News. The News Indian Express also reports that as the mahouts often skipped duty, the devotees and locals used to give palm fronds to the animal. The present mahouts are alcoholics and the Devaswom officials turned a blind eye to the animal’s plight, locals told the paper. Though complaints were filed in the past by residents in the area to both the Devaswom Board, the Kerala state temple trust and the Forest Department regarding Shivashankaran’s plight, nothing came out of it. More than a year ago, the former Forest Minister, KB Ganesh Kumar offered government protection and treatment to the abused animal, after receiving many complaints. But the body which governs temple affairs in Kerala, Devaswom Board objected to the proposal. Right now, Shivasankaran is still in the hands of his abusers, putting up with the beatings and ill-treatment that he is subjected to everyday. Watch the video here: 

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