Attempt to destroy Kerala's image through elephant issue is pointless: CM
Thiruvananthapuram: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan stated that the incident in which a pregnant elephant at Mannarkkad in Palakkad died after eating fruit loaded with crackers is truly painful. However, the attempts to question the self-esteem of Kerala on the basis of this incident cannot be entertained, he said in the press meet held here on Thursday.
The death of the animal is a really heartbreaking incident. As part of an organised campaign, the name of Malappuram is mentioned in the reports in connection with the incident which actually took place in Mannarkkad of Palakkad district. It is wrong to unleash a baseless campaign against Malappuram and Kerala and nobody will be allowed to question the state's self-esteem, the chief minister added.
Nature includes all sorts of living beings. We will check what measures can be taken to reduce the clashes between human and wildlife. However, some people's efforts to use the elephant's death to destroy Kerala's image acquired through COVID resistance is pointless. If Maneka Gandhi made the statement out of ignorance, she can correct it now. But it seems that she said it intentionally, as she did not correct it yet, the CM said.
The pregnant elephant died after it ate a fruit loaded with crackers at Mannarkkad in Palakkad a few days back. Many including former union minister and BJP leader Maneka Gandhi had condemned the incident. She even alleged that Malappuram is infamous for animal abuse.
The chief minister said that a joint probe by forest and police officials to track down the killers of the pregnant elephant in Palakkad is on and three persons are on their radar.
In an earlier development, a Kerala forest department team probing the killing of the pregnant elephant is learnt to have taken two persons into custody. The forest officials are tight-lipped on the progress of their investigation.
The elephant's habitat was in the Silent Valley National Park in Palakkad district. The local Mannarkkadu police station on Wednesday registered a case in the gruesome incident.
"The forest department and the police are probing the incident and we are confident of finding the villains behind this crime," said Sub Inspector of Police TK Ramachandran.
According to veterinarians who treated the 15-year-old pregnant elephant, some miscreants while chasing away the elephants who occasionally stray into the agricultural land had kept fire crackers inside a pineapple. When the elephant started eating it, the crackers burst, seriously injuring its upper and lower jaw and tongue.
A post-mortem conducted on the elephant two days later revealed that the elephant was two-months pregnant. Experts pointed out that this was the elephant's first pregnancy.
(With inputs from IANS)