COIMBATORE: Tamil Nadu State Minister for Forests Dindigul C Sreenivasan on Thursday courted controversy when he asked two tribal children to remove his slippers before entering a shrine at the annual rejuvenation camp for the captive elephants in the Nilgiris.
Video of the incident has gone viral in social media and TV channels evoking strong condemnation from various quarters.
The incident happened during the inauguration of the camp at Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR).
In the video, Sreenivasan could be heard asking the boys, who are children of the mahouts at the camp, to come to him and remove the buckle of his slippers.
Nilgiris district collector Innocent Divya and other senior forest officials were present at the incident site.
Reacting to the incident, Seenivasan said he sees the boys as his grandsons and had no other motive when he asked them to remove his footwear.