New Delhi: Gautam Buddha Nagar police on Friday arrested five persons and booked Bigg Boss winner Elvish Yadav for the alleged use of snake venom at a rave party organised by the latter at a banquet hall in Sector 51 in Noida.
According to reports, nine snakes were rescued from the possession of the arrestees during the raid. A First Information Report (FIR) has also been registered under the provisions of the Wildlife (Protection) Act and for criminal conspiracy following a complaint by animal rights group, People for Animals (PFA), which had laid the trap leading to the arrests. Elvish Yadav has also been named in the FIR.
“They used to collect a hefty sum of money for supplying the venom at parties,” Noida police was quoted as saying.
Those arrested have been identified as Rahul (32), Teetunath (45), Jaikaran (50), Narayan (50) and Ravinath (45), all residents of Moharband village in southeast Delhi’s Badarpur.
“We had received information that a YouTuber named Elvish Yadav shoots videos with snake venom and live snakes in farmhouses in Noida and NCR along with other gang members/YouTubers and organizes rave parties illegally. On such occasions, foreign girls are regularly called and snake venom and intoxicants are consumed,” reads the FIR, filed on the complaint of Gaurav Gupta, an Animal Welfare officer of PFA.
“Acting on this information, one of our informers contacted Elvish Yadav and asked him to organise a rave party in Noida and make arrangements for snakes and cobra venom. When we talked to his agent with the reference of Elvish Yadav, he agreed. Then he agreed to come to the banquet hall located in Sector 51. We informed DFO Noida… and further complained about it at the Sector 49 police station,” it added.
Meanwhile, Elvish Yadav issued a 58-second video on social media to deny his involvement in the case. “All allegations against me are fake, holding not even 1 per cent authenticity,” he said in the Instagram post, while appealing to the media not to tarnish his reputation by peddling fake stories without having concrete proof.
Yadav added that he was ready to assist the police in their investigation.
Speaking to a local channel, BJP MP and PFA founder Maneka Gandhi said that snake venom trade is prevalent across the country. “There are reports of such trade in Odisha too. However, the Odisha forest department has completely failed to act in this regard. The department is doing nothing, neither for protection of elephants nor snakes.”
Some people use venom as a recreational drug, she added.
Maneka also asked if Elvish Yadav was not guilty, then why he was on the run.”This is a grade 1 crime, seven years in jail, a wildlife crime. King cobras die when their venom is taken out. Their venom is for digesting food. Without the venom, they can’t eat anything and thus they die. There are very few cobras and pythons in the country. It is a crime to own them, catch them or use them,” she told television channels.