Television actor Shruti Ulfat has denied reports that she was arrested by the Thane forest department on Wednesday for posting a video which featured her with a live cobra. A complaint was lodged on the basis of the video that the actor had posted on social media in October.
Latest reports said the actor has been released on bail but she cannot travel abroad without informing the court and has to remain present whenever asked by the forest department.
Shruti’s lawyer Sunny Purnamiya said that the actor is set to challenge the above condition in high court.
The reptile which was seen to be wrapped around her neck and hand in the pictures is protected under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. It is an offense to use a live cobra for shooting or photographic purposes under the act.
— Virat A Singh (@singhvirat246) February 8, 2017
Apparently, Shruti has opened up about the entire incident while talking to India Forums. She said, “We are not arrested. It so happened that we posted a picture with cobra during our Nagarjuna shoot and I was not aware that time that it’s illegal to post an image like that. Otherwise, why will I do such a thing and get into a hassle unnecessarily! We are going to forest station for our statements and its been four months already.”
Pearl Puri, who was also seen in the video, said, “Firstly, we were not arrested, we just went to forest station. It so happened that when Nagarjuna completed 100 episodes, a cobra was brought on the set by cobra catcher and we posed with it for a picture. We went only for giving the statements.”
Actor Arjun Bijlani who played the lead role in the first season of Colors popular show, Naagin came out in support of Shruti. “I don’t think the actor was aware that putting a picture up was going to land her in jail. The supplier should be put behind bars, not the actor. The entire team is accountable, why just the actor? Hopefully, this incident will create awareness around rules regarding the use of animals on shows,” said Arjun while talking to Mid-Day.