Mohan’s Current Rescue Situation

March 24, 2015 | By wildlife@dmin

Mohan, chained and abused for the past 50 years of his life, needs to be rescued. To keep you all updated, we will post updates on this blog and on Facebook. So stay tuned and keep checking in! (please note that the newest entries are at the bottom of the page)

TO HELP MOHAN:

The legal fight to secure Mohan’s freedom will require significant funding. Please consider donating to our Elephant Legal Fund by clicking the button below:

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Please note that:

Supporters from the UK can donate in British pounds here.

And supporters from India can donate in rupees here.

 

THE LATEST UPDATES ARE AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE. READ FROM THE TOP DOWN IF YOU WANT TO UNDERSTAND THE WHOLE STORY, OR SKIP TO THE BOTTOM FOR THE LATEST NEWS. 

UPDATE– March 21st, 10pm: Our team went deep into Lalganj accompanied by a 30 strong battalion of police, 15 forest officers and 10 Wildlife SOS team members, making the Mohan Rescue Team 55 members strong. We felt we were well prepared and ready to face adversity. Upon reaching Mohan our two veterinarians quickly sedated him so we could gently guide him into the elephant rescue vehicle. Unfortunately, as darkness fell, we were surrounded by a mob of over 300 people who refused to let us move Mohan. The situation rapidly deteriorated from bad to worse and from murky to downright dangerous. After a couple of our team members were nearly roughed up, it became clear that we needed to back off, both for the safety of our team and that of Mohan. The police and the district administration advised us to move out and come back in a day or two with reinforcements. We are disappointed but we will not give up on Mohan. Currently our team is in discussions with the police and we will regroup tomorrow morning with the enforcement teams and draw up a fresh plan A and a plan B to rescue Mohan.

UPDATE– March 22nd, 5pm: The team has spent the entire day lobbying with police officials. There have been over one hundred calls and continuous meetings with the enforcement authority. We are hopeful that we will get full cooperation to rescue Mohan. Fingers crossed!
Meanwhile, as we work to get the situation in Lalganj resolved, some of the members of Mohan’s rescue team try to catch a bit of sleep inside the truck. We couldn’t be more proud of this dedicated team.

UPDATE– March 23rd, 11pm: Our team in the field reports that Mohan is doing okay and his location is known to us.
Also, despite having already lost Mohan through the courts, his former owner has filed for a revision, hoping to regain custody. The hearing is set for Wednesday, March 25th. We don’t believe he has much chance of success, but the best way to help at this point is to sign and share the petition we have created here: SIGN THE PETITION

UPDATE– March 24th, 2pm: Our team in the field is in continuous discussions with the lawyers, forest department officials and the police force preparing for the case hearing tomorrow. Let’s pray that the court rules out in our favor. *Fingers crossed*

UPDATE– March 25th, 3pm: Regretfully, the court hearing scheduled for today has been postponed as there was a lawyer strike in the court. We are disheartened but we will not stop trying until Mohan is safe with us.
We have deployed a team who will remain in the vicinity to keep an eye on Mohan’s safety. To keep the team members safe, we will not post their details. Thank you for standing by our side. We will keep you posted about the court date as soon as we have the details with us. Our legal team will be working on this case and get documents ready for presentation in court.

UPDATE– April 1st, 6pm: The Honorable Judge has ordered a veterinary examination of Mohan’s health status by an independent agency and wants this report submitted on the next court hearing which is scheduled for the 22nd April 2015. Please be assured that Mohan is under the watchful eyes of our team members deployed there and we will not leave without taking him along.
We are hoping for a positive outcome and will keep you posted.

UPDATE– April 22nd, 4pm: Mohan’s case was expected to be heard today, unfortunately it was delayed unexpectedly. We now believe that it will be heard within the next few days, but we don’t yet have confirmation on the timing. We will keep you informed as we learn more.

UPDATE– April 30th, 2pm:  The court hearing was once again postponed, this time because the advocate from the opposing side didn’t show up today. Monday, May 4th has been set as the new hearing date, and we can only hope that the hearing will indeed happen that day. In the meantime, Mohan waits. And so do we. We still believe that one day soon, we’ll be able to turn his luck around. Thank you for standing by us in this fight.

UPDATE– May 4th, 6pm: Mohan’s case was heard today. It has been more than a month since the judge in Mohan’s case ordered an independent veterinary examination be done to aid him in rendering a decision in the case. To our knowledge, that examination was completed. However, just today, the judge asked those same veterinarians to be present in court on May 7th, and to conduct another examination of Mohan on that day. We expect a final decision to be made once the judge hears from the veterinarians on Thursday.

UPDATE– May 22nd, 2pm: This blog post on the Huffington Post tells Mohan’s story. Sharing it is a great way to help him, because it will give more exposure to his plight as well as to the petition to free him. We remain committed to rescuing Mohan, and are so grateful to all of you who keep him in your hearts.

UPDATE– May 27th, 1pm: A ruling has been made in Mohan’s court case, and his owner has lost. This is great news, but unfortunately we now face yet another obstacle. A local politician disagrees with the ruling, and seems committed to preventing us from rescuing Mohan. We don’t want to say more than that at this stage, but please trust that we are working night and day to get this situation resolved so that we can finally bring Mohan to safety.

UPDATE– June 11th, 1pm: Many of you have been asking us about Mohan. Although we won the court case, the man who claims ownership of Mohan has now challenged this court order at a higher court. He has now filed a writ petition in the Allahabad High Court seeking that Mohan not be moved. This is very frustrating for all of us! Please know… although this is another set back, we will never give up on Mohan until he is safe with us. In the meantime, our undercover informers have been secretly checking on Mohan. Thank you ever so much for standing by us in this fight. Please have faith in us. The entire Wildlife SOS team and Mohan are counting on you!

UPDATE– June 17th, 4pm: We know you’ve all been waiting to hear about Mohan’s freedom but unfortunately we have had a lot of obstacles in our way. As you all have been so supportive and have been asking for ways to help in expediting his rescue, now’s the time! Please sign and share our NEW petition to help rescue Mohan and change his life forever. Be assured, we will never give up on Mohan until he is safe with us. Thank you for all your continuous support and standing with us through this fight.

UPDATE– July 15th, 1pm: Mohan’s case is scheduled to be heard by the High Court on Thursday morning. We know that many of you are on pins and needles waiting for the judge’s decision, so we wanted to post now to let you know what to expect. Regardless of what happens tomorrow in court, we will likely not be posting an immediate update. Whether the decision is in Mohan’s favor or not, we will need a bit of time to consider carefully our next steps. We do not want to take even the slightest chance of jeopardizing his eventual rescue by tipping our hand as to our strategy. There is also a possibility that a decision may not be made immediately, but instead will come down in the days following the hearing. And, as ever, there is a chance that the hearing may be postponed yet again. If you are in the USA, and want to ensure that you are among the first to hear the news once we are ready to make an announcement, please text WILD to 51555 to subscribe to our mobile alerts.

UPDATE– July 17th, 11am: We have somber news to report about the fight for Mohan. On Thursday, the high court’s decision set aside that of the lower court, meaning that for now Mohan will remain with the man who currently has illegal custody of him. The high court’s decision was made based on examination of a veterinary certificate presented by the Chief Veterinary Officer of Pratapgarh, while the two other veterinary certificates, one of which was the work of a completely independent veterinary expert, were not considered by the court while hearing this matter. These other veterinary certificates both concluded that Mohan must be transferred to our center in Mathura for treatment and care.

While the high court’s decision is a setback, we will never give up on rescuing Mohan.

We have consulted with our attorneys, who have presented us with several options to move forward. We will be carefully assessing those options in the coming days, but whatever path we choose, it seems clear that we will be incurring more legal costs in the pursuit of Mohan’s freedom.

To help us fight and win the upcoming legal battle, please donate to our Elephant Legal Fund today.

Thank you, from all of us at Wildlife SOS, for your generous ongoing support.

UPDATE– July 27th, 4pm: After discussions with our lawyers, our strategy moving forward is to assist the Forest Department in prosecuting Mohan’s owner for illegal ownership of him. There is a hearing scheduled in Mohan’s custody matter tomorrow in the Pratapgarh court. We are submitting a written response consisting of 18 pages of sound justification. We are now hoping the court views the matter sympathetically and rules in Mohan’s favour. We will keep you updated as things progress.

UPDATE– July 29th, 11am:  The local lawyers and courts suspended work due to the sudden demise of Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, former President of India. Mohan’s case was therefore delayed and has been rescheduled.

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UPDATE– Aug 22nd, 4pm:  Another victory for Mohan takes him one step closer to freedom!

After repeated delays, Wildlife SOS lawyers argued in Pratapgarh court today. Mohan’s so called owner did not attend the court hearing. Wildlife SOS lawyers pleaded with the judge to take note of the accused’s repeated absence from trials in what appear to be attempts to delay proceedings. The court called out his name several times and after waiting a while, finally dismissed the revision he had filed.

This is a significant victory. There is light at the end of the tunnel for Mohan. However, we know that the accused will challenge this revision dismissal in the high court, and we are prepared.

In addition, there are two other cases pending for Mohan, and much to be done before we can win his freedom. The situation is quite complicated, and we realize that you will likely have questions. Please post them in the comments below, and we will address as many as we can in a FAQ early next week.

If you would like to donate to help fight Mohan’s remaining legal battles, please give today: http://bit.ly/1Oc162P

UPDATE – October 6th – We managed to obtain these new photos of Mohan, taken just hours ago. We wanted to share them with you right away, because we know how concerned you are about his welfare.

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We are still working day and night to secure Mohan’s freedom. Please consider becoming one of our monthly donors. Giving as little as $5/month to our Elephant Legal Fund is a great way to help him and elephants like him. Thank you!

Donate here: https://app.mobilecause.com/f/ic7/n

UPDATE-October 27th – Mohan’s hearing went well today, but there was no ruling. The next hearing date is set for November 28th, when we hope the evidence will be presented and the arguments will begin.

UPDATE– November 28th – Our team has been able to convince the Honorable court about how grave the situation is for Mohan and the court will be issuing summon to the accused (people holding Mohan in illegal custody) to present themselves before the court on the next hearing which is scheduled for 19th December, 2015. We have also requested the court that Mohan should be subjected to a detailed veterinary examination prior to the next hearing.

UPDATE– December 20th – In court today, our lawyer argued that — in addition to the two people already accused of possessing Mohan illegally — his owner should also be accused. The judge heard arguments, and then adjourned, setting the next court date for January 2nd.

UPDATE – January 2nd, 2016 – No arguments heard. Instead, the respected Chief Judicial Magistrate, Pratapgarh, instructed the local council of the forest department to pronounce an order to summon Mohan’s “owner” (he will be the third person accused in this case). Court date to be announced.

UPDATE – February 15th, 2016 – Hearing postponed

UPDATE – March 16th – No hearing – postponed due to riots over lawyer’s death. New court date set for May 20th. 

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