Animal cruelty in India isn't hidden from the public eye, it happens out in the open, even on social media. It's also a matter that rarely gets enough public consideration. In an incident from Chandigarh, a tattoo artist was booked by authorities for holding a monkey captive and making videos of the animal.
In one video which reached the authorities, the monkey was seen drinking from a glass. The glass contained a red liquid, which was assumed to be alcohol. However, an investigation into the matter is still on and a case has been registered, as the artist has been granted bail.
Chandigarh tattoo artist holds monkey captive
In a case of animal cruelty, popular tattoo artist Kamaljit Singh was arrested on Wednesday in Chandigarh along with his manager for holding a monkey captive. Not only was he keeping the rhesus macaque in his house, but he was also using it in his videos. The case came to light after PETA reported the artist and his problematic videos.
In one video, the sub-adult monkey can be seen being made to drink a suspicious red liquid from a glass. The Instagram video's caption sports, "Monku drunk today..."
Calling the monkey 'Monku' the story according to Kamaljit Singh goes, "I had rescued the monkey in injured condition from Kasauli road. The animal developed affection with me. I shared pictures of myself with the monkey on my Instagram," he told The Indian Express. He added that the liquid was, in fact, a mixture of apple and pomegranate juice. However, even that is punishable.
Moreover, the tattoo artist has claimed innocence saying that he released the monkey when he was made aware of the consequences of keeping the monkey at home. However, he has not been able to produce proof of release of the monkey and has deleted all his photos and videos with monkey since the investigation began, DCF Chandigarh, Dr Abdul Qayum told IBTimes. After questioning, the investigation continues but Kamaljit has been granted bail after signing a Rs 50,000 bail bond.
Having more than 2.5 lakh followers, Kamaljit Singh had been gaining views from videos of the young monkey. Dr Abdul Qayum, said about the case, "It was reported from PETA and the case was about the detention of the monkey by a Chandigarh resident and he's using it in different forms of videos by feeding or drinking alcohol. So a lot of videos are there on Instagram and Youtube. So we took cognisance of the matter."
He further said that Kamaljit Singh was booked under the Wildlife Protection Act under sections 9, 39 and 50, he was arrested and produced before the judicial magistrate. Dr Qayum further said that Kamaljit Singh has had the monkey for the past one and a half years. The status of the monkey is still under investigation, and it's unclear where the monkey is right now.
Dr Qayum said about the matter, "It's a moral and technical victory for us. We arrested this wildlife offender and celebrity having more than 2.5 lakh followers in a tough situation. We are successful in sending the right message in society that wildlife offences will not be tolerated anymore and one has to follow the law of the land. It was not an easy task, but the staff took a courageous step especially RFO Bhupinder. Constant motivation came from our boss Dalai sir, became a key factor apart from the guidance of many senior officers."
Hopefully, the whereabouts of the monkey are soon known and the monkey comes under protection.