The forest officials arrested 4 men after discovering a video of them raping a Bengal monitor lizard at Sahyadri Tiger Reserve in Maharashtra, India. According to reports, one of the rapists had saved the video on his phone. The CCTV footage from the Maharashtra Forest Department also showed 4 men prowling about the forest area before trespassing into the Sahyadri Tiger Reserve. Manmohan Singh’s government created the national park in 2008 to conserve Bengal tigers.
Who Raped Bengal Monitor Lizard?
Besides the video of 4 men gang-raping the Bengal monitor, the accused’s phone had several photos of other animals like deer and porcupines. Initially, the forest officials caught them through CCTV on account of hunting at the animal preservation site. Then they checked one of their phones and came across the video showing them in an inhumane act with the 4.5 feet long reptile. Officials identified the accused as Sandeep Tukram, Pawar Mangesh, Janardhan Kamtekar, and Akshay Sunil. All four were hunters from Konkan who came into the forest to hunt. According to reports, the officials first caught only one of them as the other three fled the scene. However, they were later recovered from Hativ village along with 2 pistols and motorcycles.
The Bengal Monitor is a preserved species under the Wildlife Protection Act 1972. It is in danger of extinction because it is being hunted for meat and medical supplies. The officials reported that they would produce those culprits to the court and punish them according to the course of law. The matter will be discussed with law experts about relevant charges regarding the rape of a wild animal. According to Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, those who voluntarily commit intercourse with animals shall be punished with up to 10 years in prison or life imprisonment and liable to pay a fine.
Animal Rape Cases
The scourge of animal rape continues to rage on. Before this bizarre news of Bengal Lizard gang rape, a man from Kerala allegedly raped and killed a pregnant goat last month. According to reports, it was a hotel employee named Senthil. Some other employees heard something in the backyard where goats were being kept. They checked and found a 4-month pregnant goat out of its cage, bleeding to death. Surgeons confirmed that the goat was sexually abused. Similarly, in January 2021, a video went viral on social media showing a 50+ man repeatedly raping a stray dog.
The joint report released by 2 animal rights groups, the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO) and All Creatures Great and Small (ACGS), revealed that nearly 500,000 animals had suffered cruelty at the hands of humans between 2010 and 2020. As per the reports, 82 out of 1,000 assault cases were rapes and gang rapes.