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TN priest arrested for using cobras, elephant for puja

Press Trust of India  |  Cuddalore (TN) 

A priest, who used cobras for a special on the 80th birthday of his father, was arrested for violation of wildlife laws, a forest said today.

Sundaresan, the 45-year old priest, also brought in an elephant unauthorisedly for prayers seeking longevity for his father.

The arrest was made after a video clip of the chanting shlokas and offering flower petals to cobras in the presence of a snake charmer went viral in

"Using cobras for any purpose, be it ritual or otherwise is in violation of the Wild Life Protection Act," a top district forest told

Asked if the reptiles were harmed or harassed, he said using cobras for amounted to harassing and teasing them.

"A permit and authorisation is mandatory to move an elephant from one place to another, and in this case permission was not taken," he said.

The forest said the cobras were procured by the through "brokers".

The priest, he said, confessed to have committed the offences.

He was arrested and produced before a court which remanded him in judicial custody yesterday, he said.

Quoting the priest, said a man named Palani brought the cobras. All those involved in bringing the reptiles and the elephant will be arrested and we are on the lookout for them, he said.

The is lodged in the here, the official said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, May 17 2018. 18:50 IST