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'Why name lions after Sita and Akbar?' Calcutta HC asks Bengal govt to rename them Lions' name controversy
Representative image of lions/ courtesy: Pixabay

'Why name lions after Sita and Akbar?' Calcutta HC asks Bengal govt to rename them

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 22 Feb 2024, 11:46 pm

Kolkata/IBNS: The Calcutta High Court Thursday asked the West Bengal government to rename the lion "Akbar" and lioness "Sita", whose names caused controversy after both animals were kept in the same enclosure at Siliguri's Safari Park.

The court made the direction while hearing a plea by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad to change the name of the lioness who was recently transferred to West Bengal from Tripura, media reports said.

The single-judge bench of Justice Saugata Bhattacharyya, in an oral direction, asked the state to avoid controversy and consider renaming the animals.

"Will you name a lion after a Hindu deity, a Muslim prophet or Christian god or freedom fighter or nobel laureate? Generally anyone who is revered or respected by the people of our country?" Justice Bhattacharyya asked.

The Additional Advocate General (AAG), representing West Bengal, told the court that the lions were named in Tripura and the state itself was already considering renaming the lions.

The court also questioned the reasoning behind naming an animal after "a god, mythological hero, freedom fighter, or Nobel laureate" and asked why the state did not challenge the names given by Tripura.

"You are a welfare state and it is a secular state. Why should you draw controversy by naming a lion after Sita and Akbar? This controversy should have been avoided.

"Not only Sita, but I also don't support the naming of a lion Akbar. He was a very efficient and noble Mughal emperor. Very successful and secular Mughal emperor. If it is already named, the state authority should shun it and avoid it," Justice Bhattacharyya said.

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