For Immediate Release:
27 January 2014
Ads Placed in Nagpur and Kolhapur Call for Abused Animal’s Release
Mumbai – Renowned Bollywood actor Arjun Rampal has donated two billboards to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India calling for the release of an abused 14-year-old elephant named Sunder. PETA India is seeking the release via a case in the High Court of Bombay. In the ad, Sunder is lying on the ground with his legs tightly chained next to the caption “Maharashtra Forest Department, Have a Heart: Free Sunder”. One of the billboards has been placed in Nagpur, the site of the office of Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Sarjan Bhagat, and the other in Kolhapur, where Member of the Legislative Assembly Vinay Kore is based. The next High Court hearing in the case is set for 28 January.
Kore donated Sunder to the Jyotiba temple in 2007, and the elephant has been kept chained and inside dark sheds for most of that time. In December 2013, PETA obtained video footage showing that Sunder’s mahout violently beat him with a pole near a poultry shed where he had been moved at the behest of Kore. That same month, the High Court of Bombay ordered Sunder’s transfer to a sanctuary, but he has yet to be released by Bhagat.
The Maharashtra Minister of Forests, Dr Patangrao Kadam, has also ordered Sunder’s release. Rampal recently met with Kadam and presented him with a letter that stated, “I am deeply saddened to learn … that, despite your and the High Court of Bombay’s orders, the young elephant named Sunder has not yet been moved to a sanctuary where he can live his life free from chains and beatings and that he continues to suffer”.
The actor has also offered to donate a life-size statue of an elephant to the Jyotiba temple in exchange for transferring Sunder to a sanctuary chosen by PETA. He added that the statue would allow devotees to “pay tribute to Lord Ganesha and honour all elephants, including Sunder”.
Joining Rampal in his call for Sunder’s release have been Amitabh Bachchan, Madhuri Dixit, R Madhavan, Raveena Tandon and many other top celebrities as well as more than 80,000 people, who have signed PETA India’s online petition.
For more information, please visit PETAIndia.com.