BigBoss winner Elvish Yadav booked for ‘supplying snake venom for rave parties’. How Maneka Gandhi’s PFA ‘laid trap’
An “accomplice” of controversial YouTuber Siddharth ‘Elvish’ Yadav has allegedly been caught red-handed supplying snake venom for rave parties. This came after People for Animals (PFA) — an animal welfare organisation founded by Sultanpur MP Maneka Gandhi — “laid a trap” by sending in a decoy Thursday to expose the alleged racket.
According to an FIR registered by the Noida police, PFA’s animal welfare officer Gaurav Gupta — the “decoy” and the complainant in the case — laid the trap with the help of some district officials at Chevron Banquet Hall in Noida’s Sector 51 on Thursday. The “associate”, identified as Rahul Yadav, and four “snake charmers” were arrested in the case.
Elvish and five others — including Rahul Yadav — have been booked under sections of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972, and section 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code, according to the FIR.
In a video response, Elvish — a social media influencer best known as the winner of Bigg Boss OTT this year — dismissed the allegations as “baseless, without even 1 percent truth”. “I’m willing to cooperate in the investigation and take responsibility if there is even 1 percent of truth in it,” he said in the video he put out on X, formerly Twitter.
Ram Badan Singh, a deputy commissioner of police of Noida’s Anti-Narcotic Cell, quoted Gupta as saying that he contacted Elvish to have snakes arranged for a rave party, and that the YouTuber referred him to Rahul Yadav.
“He said that snake charmers and Rahul Yadav had come to the venue. A joint team of forest officials and a police team reached the spot and arrested Rahul Yadav and four others while seizing nine snakes and 20 ml snake venom,” the officer said in his statement.
In her comments to reporters on Friday, Gandhi, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and former Union minister, confirmed the development. Elvish, she alleged, sells the venom in Gurugram and Noida.
“We’ve been keeping a watch on this man for a while now,” she told reporters. “His videos often show him wearing snakes around his neck. These snakes — pythons, cobras, etc — are endangered species. To have them is a serious offence with a jail term of seven years.”
What the FIR says
According to the FIR, Gupta was tipped off that Elvish and his friends supplied snakes and snake venom to parties held in farmhouses in the National Capital Region.
“The informer contacted Elvish Yadav to organise a party in Noida and arrange snake and snake venom. Elvish then referred him to his agent Rahul. The informer then contacted Rahul and he agreed to make the arrangement. He assured that he would bring snakes and snake venom at the venue,” the FIR says.
It goes on to say that Rahul and the others reached the venue on 2 November. “We had already informed the DFO (Divisional Forest Officer), Noida. As soon as they reached the venue, we confirmed if they had brought the snakes and the venom. Once they showed it to us, we alerted the police and the regional forest officer in Dadri and they were arrested from the spot,” the FIR adds.
Although this is the first time he has been booked in such a case, Elvish has previously been in the news for making controversial statements, with several women, such as Bollywood actor Swara Bhaskar and comedian Kusha Kapila, accusing him of making “misogynistic” comments.