Missing elephant, Laxmi, found after two months in New Delhi

Published: Sep 18, 2019, 15:07 IST | mid-day online correspondent

Laxmi, a 39-year-old elephant is the cynosure of all eyes at Sharkarpur police station, where she is currently lodged after being rescued from her caretaker who had allegedly kept her hidden

This picture has been used for representational purpose
This picture has been used for representational purpose

New Delhi: After a countrywide alert was issued to trace elephant, Delhi forest department official informed that the 47-year-old pachyderm was found. The elephant, Laxmi, was traced to Yamuna Khadar area and the mahout, Saddam was arrested, Deputy Commissioner of Police (East) Jasmeet Singh said.

The forest department official said, "We had launched a search operation on Tuesday to locate the elephant. Three teams comprising around 12 officials combed the areas along the banks of the Yamuna river and the Uttar Pradesh-Delhi border. We requested the police to increase patrolling in the Yamuna Pusta area as we suspected the elephant was being kept somewhere there. The Shakarpur police detained the mahout and the elephant early in the morning and informed us."

The official said that the elephant is safe. It was given a bath and breakfast in the morning and it will be sent to a rehabilitation centre in Haryana. Forest department officials said Laxmi was being kept in-ground around 100 meters from the office of the Delhi Commissioner of Police (east). Sources said the elephant was being used for weddings, religious functions and other events all this time. Forest department staff said they would pose as customers while trying to locate the elephant.

The owner of the elephant, Yusuf Ali, and his elder son are absconding. Efforts are being made to nab them, he said. Laxmi was brought to Shakarpur police station. There was a ruckus outside the police station as the forest department officials tried to seize the elephant. The pachyderm was taken away around 11.30 am on Wednesday.

Edited by mid-day online desk with inputs from PTI

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