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1 Arrested, FIR Against Maneka Gandhi, Plea in SC: Aftermath of Elephant killing in Kerala Continues

1 Person identified as Wilson was arrested on Friday, 5th June in connection with the death of a pregnant elephant in Kerala.

Further, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) and Chief Wildlife Warden, Surendrakumar said that Karim and Riyaz, the owners of the estate have also been booked in the case and are now absconding.

This was expected as the Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, on 4th June said that an investigation is under way with focus on three suspects in the incident of killing of the pregnant elephant in Palakkad.

In a series of tweets on that evening, both the CM and the local Forest Department informed that an investigation is underway, focusing on three suspects. The police and forest department have jointly formed a SIT, to investigate the incident. They wanted to assure people that all their concerns will not go in vain, and they will do everything possible to bring the culprits to justice.

A nationwide outrage triggered when this tragedy came to light after a forest officer narrated the details of the horrific death of a pregnant elephant in Kerala, on social Media.

The wild elephant had left the forests of Silent Valley in Palakkad district, meandering into a nearby village in search of food. According to forest officials, the elephant is suspected to have eaten a pineapple, stuffed with country-made crackers that are usually used by locals to protect their fields against wild boars.

According to the forest officer Mohan Krishnan, so powerful was the cracker explosion in her mouth that her tongue and mouth were badly injured. The elephant walked around in the village, in searing pain and in hunger. She was unable to eat anything because of her injuries.

The elephant eventually walked up to the Velliyar River and stood there. Photos showed the elephant standing in the river with her mouth and trunk in water, perhaps for some relief from the unbearable pain. The forest officer said she must have done this to avoid flies and other insects on her injuries, because at that moment she was not thinking about herself, but about the child she was going to give birth to 18 to 20 months.

Along with the rescue team, two captive elephants called Surendran and Neelakanthan was brought, to lead her out of the river. "But I think she had a sixth sense. She didn't let us do anything," Mohan Krishnan wrote.

After hours of attempts by the officials to rescue the elephant, she died at 4 pm on May 27, standing in water.

FIR against Maneka Gandhi:

Over the last week the country has seen massive protest through social media and other platforms against this cruel act. Personalities like Ratan Tata, Virat Kohli, Randip Hooda and others have raised their voice to prevail justice.

But, on the 5th June evening a news came out that Kerala police have filed an FIR against BJP MP and animal activist Maneka Gandhi for her provocative statements in connection with the killing of a pregnant elephant in the state.

Malappuram district police chief Abdul Karim confirmed to the media that following a complaint from a person called Latheef, an FIR has been registered under section 153 of the Indian Penal Code (wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot.)

On Wednesday, 3rd June, the former union minister in an interview with ANI claimed that Malappuram was the ‘most violent district’ in the country.

“Every week an elephant dies of beating in Kerala. They should sack the Chief Wildlife Warden. They should arrest everyone they suspect in Malappuram because they are repeat offenders,” she said.

However, the incident took place in Mannarkkad in Palakkad district and not in Malappuram. The district forest officer confirmed the same, and assured strict action against the offenders.

Gandhi even slammed Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who is the MP from Kerala’s Wayanad district, which is at a different location.

These comments had sparked a communal debate on social media with many tweeting offensive messages against the particular community.

Interestingly, even the next day the Union Minister Prakash Javdekar made the same mistake by blaming Malappuram, while expressing his protest against this cruel act through twitter.

Plea in Supreme Court seeks probe by CBI or SIT:

On June 7, A plea has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking probe by the CBI or a special investigation team (SIT) into the recent death of the pregnant wild elephant after it ate a fruit containing firecrackers in Kerala's Silent Valley Forest.

Referring to media reports, the plea filed by Delhi-based advocate Avadh Bihari Kaushik has said that in April this year a similar incident had come to light in which an elephant, which was found with mouth injuries in Pathanapuram forest range in Kerala's Kollam district, had died.

The plea said that the Government of India had launched Project Elephant in 1992 to support the states in protecting the animal, their habitats and migration corridors.

'However, all the efforts made by the central and state governments are failing for the simple reason that the poachers and killers are more committed to their job as compared to the agencies appointed to nab them and therefore, the incidents like the present one are repeatedly occurring,' the plea said.

It has sought a direction for transferring the case of killing of the pregnant elephant and similar incidents to the CBI 'under the constant monitoring' of the top court.

The plea has also urged the apex court to call for the entire record of these cases along with similar incidents, if any, regarding killing of elephants in Kerala and in other states.

To End With:

Unfortunately, in this case also a group of people tried to create inter-community disorder by looking to blame a particular community for all these. But, good to see people turning all those down, and investigation born some fruit. And hope that the focus don’t get shifted from the main problem before two member of the largest land mammals gets justice.


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