After the raging controversy over whether or not she used children as political props to attack the prime minister in a campaign video, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is now in hot water over her act of posing with captive snakes while interacting with snake-charmers in her mother's constituency Raebareli on Thursday.
Animal rights activist Gauri Mulekhi has written a letter to the Chief Wildlife Warden of the government of Uttar Pradesh seeking action against the Congress general secretary for Uttar Pradesh East for promoting and encouraging their illegal capture and mutilation.
The complaint goes into great detail of how by having knowledge of the fact that the snakes are no longer dangerous, something she revealed by saying "Kuch nahi karega. Darr kyu rahe ho (It will not do anything, why are you scared?)" while playing with the snakes, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has endorsed the methods snake-charmers use to render them venom-less.
The activist has identified one of the snakes as a 'spectacled cobra' which she writes is 'a highly venomous snake and no person can handle it unless it has been greviously mutilated, i.e. its fangs broken and its venom glands burnt by seasoned hunters.' The second snake Priyanka Gandhi Vadra handled was a Sand Boa, Mulekhi says, adding that the third also appears to be a cobra. Gauri Mulekhi then writes about the sections of the Wildlife Protection Act that have been violated.
"The crime is serious & non-bailable and necessitates immediate arrest," the complaint demands
The incident had taken place while Priyanka Vadra was campaigning for Sonia Gandhi at Rae Bareli. The visuals show her seated on a chair and listening to the snake charmers. She then picks up a snake, handles it briefly and then puts it back into the box.
Here is the complaint:
Also on Thursday, the NCPCR (National Commission for Protection of Child Rights) had issued notice to Priyanka Gandhi Vadra over the controversial viral video from the Congress campaign wherein children are raising the party's most prevalent election slogan - "Chowkidar Chor Hai" - and then using abuses against PM Modi. A response has been sought from her within three days.