Animal rights activist Nitasha Jaini was allegedly assaulted by unidentified miscreants near Patna high court on Friday evening when she tried to “rescue” a reptile from a snake charmer.
Eyewitnesses said, the incident occurred around 5.30pm when the 53-year-old activist asked the snake charmer, who was collecting money from the passersby near the bar council by displaying the snake, to handover the reptile to her and tried to call police control room.
Soon a crowd gathered around her, who sought to know who gave her the right to try and confiscate the snake.
“A case had been lodged against unidentified persons with the Kotwali police station on the basis of the statement of Jaini”, said DSP (law and order) Shibli Numani, adding that police were trying to identify the attackers with the help of CCTV footage.
“Suddenly, I was surrounded by a mob of around 40 people. Some of them started beating me up and even tried to strip my clothes. The crowd kept questioning my professional integrity. This continued for about 25 minutes,” she told HT.
Jaini was coming out of the court attending a case, seeking release order to send 61 smuggled camels to a rehabilitation centre in Rajasthan, when the incident took place.
The activist ,who is also associated with the Dhyan Foundation, an NGO working for animal welfare, helped rescue the camels that were traded illegally from Rajasthan to Kishanganj in Bihar.
A witness to the Friday’s incident said surprisingly the lawyers, who were passing by the spot, did not came forward to save her.
Jaini claimed that the attackers could be associates of those who smuggled the camels to the state.
‘’We have been receiving constant threats from people, who claim to be the owners of the animals. However, they do not even have a single document, which is mandatory for transporting animals. Clearly, the nexus is well entrenched and our efforts to safeguard the animals has antagonised the racket,” she added.