Actress Shruti Ulfat arrested for posing with a live cobra

Four months after posing with a live cobra, television actress Shruti Ulfat was arrested by by the Thane Forest department yesterday.

Confirming the arrest, Range Forest officer Santosh Kank said, “We have arrested actress Shruti Ulfat along with 3 others for posing with a cobra and posting the images and videos online in October 2016. They were produced before the Borivli court and have been kept in custody of the Thane range. A CD with the images and videos was sent to the forensic lab and it has been proved that a live snake was used for shooting purposes.”

The three others arrested with Shruti are Nitin Solanki, Utkarsh Bali and Pearl Puri. They were all shooting for the mythological soap, ‘Nagarjuna - Ek Yoddha’, which is based on the mythical Naag Lok .

On October 17, 2016, Shruti had shared a picture and video on Instagram, in which she is seen posing with an Indian Spectacled Cobra wrapped around her hands and neck. The reptile is protected under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, under which shooting or post pictures with with a live cobra is an offence.

Action against Shruti was taken after social activist Sunish Subramanian Kanju from PAWS Mumbai had lodged complaint to the Mumbai Range of the Thane Forest department (territorial) after he saw the actress’ pictures on net.

Speaking to mid-day, Kanju said, “I was shocked to see pictures of a live cobra snake being handled by the actress. I personally feel that celebrities should avoid doing such things, as it sends out the wrong message to the public.” 

Pooja Bannerjee, lead actress on the show told that ‘Nagarjuna’ stopped airing after January 13. “There was an issue a long time ago, but no one had taken action at the time. Since the show ended, I have not been in touch with anyone and have no idea about the case.”

The actors along with producers have been booked under Section 9, 39, 48 (a) and 51 of the Wildlife Protection Act.
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