Special Correspondent

Hyderabad: There is good news for the Nizam Trust. Its elephant, Rajini, will not be shifted to the forest but remain at the Nehru Zoological Park, Hyderabad.

Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests, Jairam Ramesh, has advised the State government not to return the elephant to the Nizam Trust. In a letter addressed to Rajya Sabha member M.A. Khan, the Minister said his Ministry would have no objection for use of the elephant for the religious procession. The past practice can be continued with permission of the government, Mr. Ramesh said.

MP raises matter

Mr. Khan took up the matter with the Union Minister following a report in these columns about plans by the zoo authorities to shift the elephant Rajini to Srisailam forest area in compliance with the Central Zoo Authority advisory. But Mr. Ramesh said the Central government advisory should not have been used by the State to return the elephant maintained by them to the Nizam Trust.

Rajini is used for both Muharram and Bonalu processions in the city. Meanwhile, G. Niranjan, general secretary, APCC, thanked Mr. Khan for taking up the issue with Mr. Ramesh.